Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023
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Kevin Hines, award-winning mental health and suicide prevention activist and speaker

To help raise awareness of suicide prevention and destigmatize mental health, the Ozarks Healthcare Behavioral Health Center (BHC) is bringing award-winning mental health and suicide prevention activist and speaker Kevin Hines to the West Plains Civic Center on Tuesday, March 22. 

In 2000, 19-year-old Hines attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Many factors contributed to his incredibly survival and story of hope, including a sea lion which kept him afloat until help arrived. Now a best-selling author, global public speaker, and award-winning documentary filmmaker, Hines travels the world sharing his story with people of all ages, along with the art of wellness and the ability to survive pain with true resilience.

“Mental health is a topic that is always important, and we are excited for Kevin to share his message of hope, healing, and recovery with our community and local students,” Tianna Niesen, mental health therapist at Ozarks Healthcare’s BHC, said. “We hope that Kevin’s message will inspire us all to be more mindful of our mental health, and as Kevin says, recognize that ‘it’s okay not to be okay, but it’s not okay not to ask for help.’” 

The Ozarks Healthcare BHC will provide two opportunities for its community to hear Hines speak on March 22 for free. The first session will be held in the morning and is reserved for area schools and college students. The second session is free and open to the public to attend at 6 p.m. in the theatre room of the West Plains Civic Center located at 110 Saint Louis St. in West Plains. Spacing is limited due to COVID-19. Preregistration is strongly encouraged to guarantee your seat. Register in advance online at https://ozarks-healthcare-bhc-beheretomorrow.eventbrite.com. 

Event sponsors are the Ozarks Healthcare Foundation, West Plains R-7 School District, Willow Springs School District, Missouri State University – West Plains, Air Evac Lifeteam, Crossway Fellowship Church, Pomona Christian Church, local State Farm agent, Ramona Heiney, and West Plains Councilwoman Jessica Nease and Dr. Jesse Rhoads. South Howell County Ambulance District and Air Evac Lifeteam are also generously providing onsite medical services as needed. 

Local health experts from Ozarks Healthcare’s BHC will be present at the event. Ozarks Healthcare has been and will continue to closely monitor the on-going COVID-19 situation and follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical staff, and other community partners. If you are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay home. Masks and social distancing are strongly encouraged. For more information, call 417-257-6762. 

For mental health issues, community members are always encouraged to call a 24-hour hotline that is available at 1-800-356-5395 in Missouri and 1-888-274-7472 in Arkansas.