Crisis listening line CONTACT We Care will hold its 40th Annual Call for Hope Gala Oct. 23 and will feature as mission speaker Kevin Hines, who in 2000 attempted suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. The gala will be held Thursday, October 22, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Gran Centurions at 440 Madison Hill Road, Clark, NJ 07066.
Hines is a mental health advocate, award-winning global speaker and bestselling author who reaches audiences with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. Two years after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 19 and while hearing voices telling him he had to die, he attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. The four-second fall into San Francisco Bay would break his body but not his spirit.
Hines is one of only 34 to survive the fall and is the only Golden Gate Bridge jump survivor who actively spreads the message of living mentally healthy. In 2013 he released his memoir, "Cracked Not Broken, The Kevin Hines Story," which continues to sell out and is on several bestsellers’ lists.
At the gala Hines will discuss how his bipolar disorder led to his attempted suicide and his efforts to reach out and connect with those who are depressed and suicidal. He is a powerful, honest and intimate presenter and his ability to share his art of living well is an inspiration. His book will be available for purchase and signing.
CONTACT also will honor Overlook Medical Center with the Gerald Glasser Community Partnership Award and Lippincott with the Board of Trustees Special Award for Excellence. Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Union) will serve as the keynote speaker.
Tickets for the Call of Hope Gala are $150 per seat and can be reserved by visiting www.contactwecare.org, clicking on Give, selecting Gala in the dropdown menu for Donation and typing in Tickets in the Note field. They also may print out the response card and mail that.
Headquartered in Westfield, CONTACT We Care is an award-winning, volunteer-staffed caring and crisis hotline and listening community. They provide active listening support and best-in-class education to the Central and Northern New Jersey community. More than 200 volunteer listeners field more than 15,000 calls annually. Just $15 pays to answer one call to the hotline from someone in crisis or contemplating suicide.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer listener or text consultant at CONTACT We Care should contact the agency at 908.301.1899.
CONTACT We Care serves Central and Northern New Jersey and is a primary responder to calls to the national suicide prevention line (1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE) that originate in New Jersey. Callers also reach CONTACT by dialing 908-232-2880. Those preferring to seek supporting through texting may text “heart” to 741-741.