Active Minds Speaker
Kevin Briggs shares his experiences while patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge as both an officer and a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol and includes his own personal story of physical and mental health challenges including recovery, military service, surviving the suicide of a loved one, divorce, and depression.
Briggs’ story has been featured in The New Yorker, People, and Men’s Health magazines and on The Steve Harvey Show and NPR’s Bob Edward’s Radio Show. Kevin also received the 2016 Visionary Leadership Award from the National Council for Behavioral Health.
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Former California Highway Patrol officer Sergeant Kevin Briggs spent most of his career patrolling San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, where he encountered numerous people clinging to life by a thread—people who had lost all hope and could see no way out of their current situations—standing ready to leap from the bridge to what they assumed would be sudden death, and an end to their pain and hopelessness.
Briggs, through his compassion, gentle voice, steady eye contact, and an innate capacity for “listening to understand,” encouraged more than 200 of these anguished souls to come back over the bridge’s rail, where they had been standing precariously on the bridge’s chord, to solid ground and a new chapter in their lives. These challenging but rewarding efforts earned him the nickname “Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge.” After 23 years, Briggs retired to dedicate his life to improving mental health awareness across the globe through Pivotal Points, an organization he founded to promote Suicide Prevention, Crisis Management, and Leadership Skills.
Today, Briggs is mapping a movement, speaking publicly about his encounters with people on the bridge; he shares his “Listening to Understand” skills, followed up with key active listening points that anyone can use. He relates his personal triad for healthy living, and describes his own mental health struggles while serving in the Army, as a police officer, as a cancer survivor, as a family member and father, and as a leader and co-worker. Briggs speaks at mental, physical and behavioral health facilities, as well as consumer and advocacy events; he is widely sought by college groups and speaks frequently at first responder and law enforcement trainings (including FBI) and conferences, where he promotes suicide prevention, crisis management, and leadership skills.
View Kevin’s website here.
- Faculty/Staff Trainings
- First Responders
- Men and Mental Health
- Substance Use
- Suicide Prevention
- Veterans/Active Duty Service Members
- Workplace Mental Health
Kevin's Presentation Options
Kevin Briggs’ presentation is based on his experiences while patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge as both an officer and a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol and includes his own personal story of physical and mental health challenges including recovery, military service, surviving the suicide of a loved one, divorce, and depression.
This 50-60 minute workshop, offered as a stand-alone program or as an additional focus-group extension to the “Listening to Understand” keynote, allows small groups to learn and practice the proper use of active listening skills, and to discuss how to break the stigma related to mental illness.
In 2003, songwriter Meg Hutchinson read an article in The New Yorker featuring an interview with Kevin Briggs, a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol. Briggs had saved hundreds of people from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge by asking them a few simple questions. Hutchinson wrote a song called “Gatekeeper” based on those questions and dedicated it to Briggs. Ten years later, Briggs heard the song and wrote to Hutchinson. They formed a friendship based on their dedication to mental health literacy and their shared struggles. With a deep commitment to suicide prevention, they offer two powerful perspectives on the issues that matter most in saving lives.
Kevin Briggs is available for panel discussions, leadership round-tables, and joint presentations with Meg Hutchinson. Other topics from Kevin include Individual in Crisis: Signs to Look For and Appropriately Respond To; Law Enforcement Response to Mental Illness/Crisis Calls; My Life as a Police Officer with Mental Illness: “How Did I Get Depression? What Am I Supposed to Do Now?”; Quality of Life Triad (developed by Briggs, its explanation and daily use for healthy living); Using the Crucial Benefit of Time at Critical Moments; Engaging and Normalizing the Feelings of a Suicidal Individual; I’m Here to Help! What to Say and What Not to Say; Mental Illness: What Stops People from Seeking Help; Breaking the Stigma for Seeking Help That Surrounds Mental Illness.
Kevin travels from California
“Kevin was a wonderful speaker and a great addition to the Partner Conference. After his speech, several attendees remarked how powerful his presentation was and what it meant to them.”
Credible Behavioral Health
Active Minds Blog - Kevin Briggs
“As parents we have a responsibility to prepare our children for their future, not ours, or what we feel we should have done. This starts with raising our child’s confidence. If you find yourself saying, “You should” or “I told you so” more often than “How are things going?”, “I love you”, or “I’m always here for you” ….then take a step back and do some real soul searching.”
“When it comes to the topic of depression, men suffer just as women do with this caveat…women tend to seek help far more than men. Our own masculinity can at times hurt us. We may think we are the toughest, most handsome, rugged individual there is, but this way of thinking can also inhibit us from seeking help.”
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