Sergeant Kevin R. Briggs, Ret.
Veteran, Speaker, Author, PivotalPoints
Kevin Briggs is a retired California Highway Patrol officer who spent more than 17 years patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge. During that time he encountered hundreds of people who were troubled and had lost hope. They were ready to jump off the bridge and end their lives.
Although a trained negotiator, Briggs also relied on his compassion, gentle voice, eye contact, and his innate ability of “listening to understand.” During his career, he encouraged more than 200 people not to jump, go over the bridge’s rail or come back to solid ground from where they had been standing
These challenging, but rewarding efforts earned him the nickname “Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge.” Retired, Briggs is now dedicating his life to promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention across the globe.
Keynote Address: Friday, October 13, 2017
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Sierra Building, Room 108
The Bridge Between Suicide and Life
Sergeant Kevin Briggs will speak about his experiences as a California Highway Patrol officer who for many years patrolled the Golden Gate Bridge, the most utilized site in the United States for loss of life to suicide. While on patrol, he encountered numerous individuals clinging to life by a thread – individuals who had lost hope and could see no way out of their current situation, and who were ready to jump off the bridge in hopes of ending their pain and hopelessness. Sgt. Briggs, through his compassion, gentle voice, eye contact, and his innate ability to “listen to understand” encouraged more than 200 individuals over his career to either not go over the bridge’s rail or to come back to solid ground from where their precarious perch on the bridge’s chord in order to start a new chapter in their life. Join Sgt. Briggs has he discusses specific interactions with individuals contemplating suicide, what to say, what not to say, and how “Listening to understand” is vital to building rapport with those in crisis.
Sergeant Briggs will also speak in depth about compassion fatigue, self-care, and balancing our lives. He will talk about his own personal experiences including mental illness, cancer/heart issues and a suicidal son. In the mental health/first responder field, few people acknowledge when they need help and subsequently suffer from compassion fatigue/depression/substance abuse. Sgt. Briggs will shed light on how to effectively communicate with a co-worker in crisis so they can get the help they need and do the job they love.