FORT LEE, Va. - According to published sources, more than 1,600 people have killed themselves leaping from the Golden Gate Bridge.Kevin Hines came close to joining that unfortunate crowd. The San Francisco native is among the 2 percent who survived the roughly 220-foot, four-second plunge likened to the force of a moving truck hitting a concrete wall.Hines' attempt to end his life 18 years ago stemmed from the torment caused by bipolarity with features of psychosis. The unlikely occurrences surrounding his survival include a seal who kept him afloat in the chilly waters of the San Francisco Bay; a woman, who after witnessing his descent, called a Coast Guard friend whose crew just happened to be patrolling nearby and got to Hines three minutes before he "could get hypothermia and drown;" and a foremost back surgeon who was leaving the hospital as Hines arrived but remained to repair his fractured vertebrae."So, all these things came into play to save my life," he told a Lee Theater audience during his Sept. 12 presentation in conjunction with Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. "When you look at the factors separately, maybe it's coincidence, but four, five, six things? Literally, if they didn't happen at the time they happened, I would be dead five times over."I get to be here, and I have this raging passion to try and help other people stay," he vowed.Roughly 50 community members were on-hand to see the bald, clean-shaven, T-shirt-and-jeans-wearing 37-year-old recount his experiences with earnestness, zeal and even humor. Featured in his presentation were his drug-addicted parents, a deceased brother who was his only biological sibling, his divorced adoptive parents and his ongoing mental health issues.Indeed, tragedy is a well-traveled road for Hines, and uncertainty often lurks on his horizons. However, he has settled with the notion -- bought to him as an epiphany in a psyche ward -- that going all out to live is the only way he can survive."I realized if I don't fight tooth and nail every day for my mental health, then I'm going to die," he said.Hines admitted he still endures the pain leading to his suicide attempt, and is still plagued by ideations, although to a lesser extent. As a result, the battle for his well-being has forced him to change his perspective about living. "Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional" is a comment he made several times, pounding home the message that reaching out to someone is life's greatest counterpunch to agony and despair."Anytime you're hurting for any reason -- brought about by anything -- turn to someone who loves you, or any individual with the empathy to listen, and tell them your truth," Hines said. "Because if you share your pain, you can survive."Hines said his wife and father are important members of his support team, but other factors impact his everyday life as well. First, he is an exercise enthusiast who works out several times a day. Second, he is devoted to healthy eating. Bringing up anything about nutrition can send him into frenzied interest, causing his carotid artery to bulge and his voice to heighten. His on-stage declaration made it clear how he feels about food consumption."Fast food is poison," he said. "It pollutes your brain and gut and does irrevocable damage to your mind, causing depression, paranoia, hallucinations, mania and everything I live with every day."Hines also said unhealthy foods cause mood swings and aggression. He recommended the best-selling book "Genius Foods" by Max Lugavere with Paul Grewal, M.D., for healthy eating ideas that could help lower the suicide rate.He further advocates the practice of meditation, saying it is a proven means to reduce stress, increase focus and combat anxiety and depression.Perhaps the most eye-opening assertion Hines made was his contention military cadences are not only call-and-response songs leaders use to keep troops enthusiastic and organized during marching and running formations but a way to instill beliefs and values. He said when troops repeat words and phrases over and over, it becomes a mantra with the potential for manifestation. He had audience members recite the following as a demonstration."We are powerful. We are strong. We are one. We will fight the pain; survive the pain; in spite of the pain. We fight today to live tomorrow. We will never die of our own hands"Word and phrase repetition has its roots in religious practices that are thousands of years old, said Hines, noting the chants used in Buddhism."What we say, we become, we believe, we are," said Hines. "If we say, 'I will never die by my hands' (one or more times) every single day, I believe we will reach zero suicides in the military, and I believe it can work for civilians."Hines said the preceding cadence -- or a variation -- should be performed at the beginning, middle and end of each physical training running session. It uses powerful keywords that, over time, will become actions."The brain operates on keywords," said Hines. "If you use an algorithm on social media (sites), you can define the keywords that save lives, and you can pull out all the keywords that lead people to suicide for bullying … You can also pull out keywords that can lead to people always surviving."Hines seemed acutely aware his idea might be considered far-fetched and even simplistic but said he has studied Department of Defense suicide reports, statistics and strategies over the years and is convinced cadences are the answer."The (current) cadences are wrong," he said. "You're teaching (Soldiers) to kill, to fight and survive in physical form; not teaching them to survive mentally. If we repeat things in our head, we retrain our brain. We conquer our inner critical voice -- that means every negative thing said to us … stays in your brain for the rest of your life. It's in your pocket memory. When you are in pain, it flares up and hurts you emotionally. Lethal and emotional pain can be depleted and destroyed through the repetition of words that have been scientifically proven to save people and give them the resilience they need to stay alive."This was Hines' first visit to Fort Lee and is the first time he has shared his cadence idea. He has not made a proposal to the Army or Department of Defense, however, it is an idea he cultivated over a 20-year period."It firmly believe this is it," he said. "Maybe that's grandiose; maybe that's stupid, simple or dumb, but I have been racking my brain and reading the DOD reports for years. Nothing I've proposed has given me this flashpoint. This is it."For more about Hines, visit www.kevinhinesstory.com.