Erie Insurance invited their employees to the Erie Art Museum for a guest speaker to share his story of battling mental illness.

Erie Insurance is focusing on improving the mental health of their employees, bringing in Kevin Hines in to share his incredible journey.

In the year 2000, Hines attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. After recovering, Hines gained the strength to be open about his battle with bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts.

Hines said he hopes that by sharing his story he reduces the stigma and can encourage others to speak up if they are struggling.

“It’s absolutely crucial for people who struggle with these issues to know they’re not alone, that they have support, that they have compassion and care with a lack of judgment, that no one’s going to come up to them and say “your voice doesn’t matter,” that they’re heard. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to be seen,” said Kevin Hines, storyteller, athor and filmmaker.

Erie Insurance representatives said they work with employees to connect them with available mental health services.