Listen Learn Lead is a work with tremendous capacity to give readers the power and skills to save lives. Chaplain Kenneth Koon offers a concise framework that individuals from all walks of life can utilize to intervene for those in need. The skills learned will enable the reader to lead those overwhelmed with thoughts of suicide to a safe place. Ken’s first-hand experience intervening with those at risk will benefit all people. I have worked with him. I have seen his power of warmth and his capacity for empathy. He truly connects with everyone he touches. When we have worked together and taught others the skills on intervening in suicidal risk, his ability to connect and truly engage is masterful. I have great admiration for his talents.
Listen Learn Lead is his testimony of how one man has learned to connect with others and what he offers the reader are the skills to hear a person’s message of despair, help them to find reasons for living, and lead them out of the darkness. Chaplain Koon is a proven and compassionate leader and Master Trainer in various intervention models. Notwithstanding this expertise, he has now catapulted his desire to eradicate suicide to new levels by offering this accumulation of his many experiences to thousands that he will never meet or personally train in one of his workshops. The reader will gain a vision of how to intuitively connect with those in despair and ask the tough questions of suicide.
Whether you are a family member of someone who is struggling with despair or various forms of melancholy, a first responder, minister, teacher, medical professional, or a crisis intervention specialist you will be well served by developing the skills offered in this book. The skills here will significantly enhance your ability to identify those in need, connect on a compassionate level, and save lives. You will be well-served to read and reread Listen Learn Lead, so you are best prepared to engage when the need arises.
All of us can better prepare ourselves to be the one person who has the knowledge to make a difference for those in need. By following Ken’s proven template of suicide intervention, the reader will be prepared to help those who may be contemplating suicide.
Paul D. Wade, PsyD, MS, LPC
Former Suicide Prevention Program Manager
99th Regional Support Command
U.S. Army Reserve, Ft Dix, NJ
Chaplain Kenneth Koon is the founder of Armed Forces Mission and Stop Suicide USA. He serves as the CIT Chaplain for Peachtree City Police Department and as a Chaplain (LTC) in the US Army Reserves.
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 conducting more than 800 successful suicide interventions in both military and civilian communities and training thousands across the US to do them same.
Ken is a Master Trainer of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and serves as an instructor for the CIT program for law enforcement personnel in Georgia. He is the author of Listen Learn Lead and several other works. Ken has been married to his wife Sherry for 32 years, they have four grown sons and three grandchildren.