Intervene Challenge, Save Someone’s World


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Suicide – it’s a word that we don’t talk about, wrapped in mystery, stigma, shame, and misunderstanding. This is the first challenge; having a healthy and beneficial discussion about a crisis that every year takes more than 45,000 lives in the US. The second challenge, raising public awareness that suicide is now an epidemic. More than 1 in 300 people attempt suicide each year in the US and 1 in 20 consider suicide. The third challenge, understanding that the professionals alone cannot solve the crisis. Building a culture of health takes the work of the entire community working as one. The “professionals” are the last line of defense on the proverbial bridge in the moment of crisis. It is the ordinary citizen in the factories and fields, the civic and faith groups that can stop those at risk from going to the bridge in the first place. AFM’s Intervene Challenge addresses the challenges above by training individuals from all walks of life in the skills that save lives. Just as CPR helps an individual having a heart attack, suicide intervention is first aid for the mind. Curriculum in the Intervene Challenge The Intervene Challenge offers several delivery methods for raising awareness and gaining skills that save lives. From one-hour lunch and learns to the two-day world class Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). Listen-Learn-Lead© (L3 ) is our primary curriculum in the Intervene Challenge. L3 is typically a five hour in class training developed by US ARMY Chaplain (LTC) Kenneth Koon based on his work in conducting more than 1,000 successful suicide interventions in both military and civilian communities.

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Participants will gain the skills and confidence to render aid to individuals at risk of suicide. Additional participant learning objectives are as follows:

First Hour • Increase personal awareness of the community impact of suicide • Understand the importance of developing a culture of community health • Gain insight into the questions asked in each phase of the L3 model

Second Hour • Recognize the steps to transitioning through the L3 model • Understand the importance of building rapport that enables a successful intervention • Practice the model through roleplay and simulation exercises

Third Hour • Discuss fears that impede willingness to intervene • Evaluate the myths that impact societal and helper responses to suicide • Examine cultural differences that challenge ability to intervene

Fourth Hour • Apply learning to better understand potential risk • Learn how the brain responds to Post Traumatic Stress increasing risk of suicide • Attempt to complete a brain response exercise given a PTS condition

Fifth Hour • Demonstrate skills to intervene through roleplay and simulation exercise • Identify the steps in transitioning to safety • Summarize the various community resources for further assistance as needed


About the Instructor: For five years as the Officer in Charge of Suicide Intervention Chaplain Koon led the team that sustained a ZERO suicide rate in a Brigade covering Soldiers in ten states. Because of the success, he was called to a Command serving Soldiers in 40 states. Chaplain Koon is the founder of Armed Forces Mission and developer of the Listen Learn Lead curriculum. He was inducted into the University of North Georgia Alumni Hall of Fame in 2018 and honored as the 2016 Trinity Awards Emergency Responder of the Year for his work in suicide intervention. He holds a Master of Divinity in Education, and Doctorate in Counseling and was trained in Clinical Pastoral Education at Atlanta Medical and Piedmont Hospital. He is the author of Listen Learn Lead (Courage to Ask Power to Save). In addition to being a trainer, Chaplain Koon is a lifelong learner.


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