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My name is Kevin Berthia and I’m 40 years old.
I was born and raised in Oakland, CA.
I am a survivor of 22 unsuccessful suicide attempts. Adopted at 6 months old, I struggled with the idea of how someone could just give me up. At 14 I attempted for the first time unaware of how much that day would change my life. For the next 16 years my mental health was all over the place. Very public suicide attempt at the Golden Gate Bridge at age 22 by the age of 30 I was up to 22 suicide attempts. 10 years ago I fought to take my life back and since then I have had the opportunity to speak in almost every state sharing my lived experience .
I will always be inspired by people who have to overcome obstacles in life. When Erena reached out about the Underwater Transformation I was excited because I never dreamed of doing a project like this. Excited for the opportunity to do something that takes me out of my box.
My plans for the photo shoot are to relax and have a great time. I am expecting this to be a wonderful experience because it takes me out of my box.
When I first entered the pool my anxiety was all over the place. Once I got settled I was able to relax and enjoy the experience. I was extremely comfortable once my mind relaxed.
After I finished I felt so good and refreshed being able to complete something like this gave me an enormous amount of confidence for things in the future that I have to do that make me feel uncomfortable.
The night of the photoshoot I did have some anxiety about how things were going to go but I was also excited which I never am because this was something that I wanted to do after looking at the sample pictures you sent me.
Water is life to me it’s the most relaxing thing on earth. I feel connected to peace when I’m in or around water.
My dream is that we live in a world where we are connected enough that no one feels alone.
I plan to spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to make my dream reality.
This experience most definitely will and has helped with my trauma and anxiety. I absolutely would do another photo shoot. Next time, I would allow myself to relax more so I can fully appreciate the water.
Erena was absolutely amazing. She allows you to get comfortable something that is hard especially when you have anxiety.
I would absolutely recommend underwater transformation because that’s exactly what happens. I believe that anyone that takes part in this project is never the same. From my heart, I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for getting me out my box.
Kevin Berthia is a suicide survivor and prevention advocate. Kevin was born with a genetic major depression disorder. In 2005, at the age of 22, Kevin attempted to take his own life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. It wasn’t until 8 years after his attempt that Kevin was reunited with the officer who talked him back to safety. Since then, Kevin’s story of HOPE has touched a diverse group of audiences all around the world. Kevin has had the opportunity to share his story with several magazine outlets along with local and national news stations.