About Start the Conversation: Training Day 2023

Start the Conversation: crisis intervention skills and self-care for health care professionals

An estimated  800,000 people die by suicide worldwide each year and suicide continues to be a leading cause of death.  For clinicians this means it is certain you will encounter patients and colleagues who experience thoughts of suicide.  The additional stresses brought on by the demanding nature of working in an understaffed health care environment contribute to compassion fatigue and burnout.  During this session attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from a caregiver and the man he helped through skilled and empathetic communication.  

This presentation will give attendees both crisis intervention skills to adequately work with persons suffering from thoughts of suicide, as well as specific tools and skills to manage their own self-care post intervention.

Learning Objectives

Learn skills that will help them to engage an individual who may be in crisis.

Gain knowledge in practical suicide assessment

Discuss the power of listening and the use empathetic communication skills to create a safe environment that encourages individuals to disclose thoughts of suicide.

Describe the importance of self-care in finding a balance that allows for a positive quality of life while maintaining compassion

Recognize the signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue and burn out.

Hear the perspective from both a caregiver and a person with thoughts of suicide as the speakers share their lived experience from a suicidal mind to a place of safety. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the value of listening both in their professional place and their personal space. 

Nationally-known speakers, Kevin Briggs (Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge) and Kevin Berthia (survivor of a near-fatal suicide attempt) are a duo who started as strangers and quickly became a lifeline. 

Pre-registration required.

Please contact us at kirsten@srrn.net or call 989-781-5260 ext. 3 with any questions.

Information on sponsorship of this event is available in the navigation bar above. Help us grow our safety net when there is a concern for suicide.

Hope Starts Here is held annually on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (recognized the Saturday before Thanksgiving). It is a day for family and friends who have experienced a loss to suicide.

Our  local event is here to care for you. This year's event will be on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at Bavarian Inn Lodge. It includes welcome food, lunch, and guest speakers.

CME Accreditation and Disclosure Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of MyMichigan Health and Barb Smith Suicide Resource & Response Network. MyMichigan Health is accredited by the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. MyMichigan Health designates this live activity for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


This course is approved by NASW-Michigan. This approval statement is for Barb Smith Suicide Resource & Response Network. Course Title: Crisis Intervention Skills & Self-Care for Professionals.

Approval Number: 110123-05. 


This training has been approved by the State of Michigan to offer EMS Continuing Education Credits for participants. Please be sure to visit the on-site Check-In Tables to sign in with your name and license number on November 17th.

About Your Instructor

As a trained negotiator and mental health advocate, Sergeant Kevin Briggs' story and lived experiences have been featured at the Technology, Entertainment, and Design Conference as a TED Talk, NBC's Access Live, Yahoo News, The New Yorker Magazine, Men's Health Magazine, NPR's Bob Edwards Radio Show, People Magazine, USA Today, as well as other magazines, newspapers, radio, and podcasts across the globe. His first book, Guardians of the Golden Gate, was released in July 2015.

Briggs, a retired California Highway Patrol sergeant, spent many years patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge. 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. Through his compassion and ability to "Listen to Understand," he encouraged several hundred individuals over his career to not end their life, but to begin a new chapter. These challenging but rewarding efforts earned him the nickname "Guardian of the Golden Gate."

After spending 3 years in the United States Army, 3 years with the California Department of Corrections, and 23 yers with the California Highway Patrol, Briggs retired to dedicate his life to promoting mental health awareness across the globe through Pivotal Points, an organization he founded.

Today, Briggs is mapping a movement as he speaks and trains others in suicide prevention, crisis management, and negotiations. He shares his "Listen to Understand" skills and discusses his personal mental health struggles in depth.

Room Block

We have a block of rooms reserved at the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Contact their reservation department at 855-652-7200 use code #13K5AN to get a discounted room rate!