Speaker Bio & Presentations

Kevin Lynch Photo

Special Speaker

Kevin Lynch

As Founder, President and CEO, Kevin M. Lynch created The Quell Foundation with the mission to reduce the number of suicides, overdoses, and the incarceration of people with a mental health conditions. His drive to create a shift in the care of people who have a mental illness stems from the knowledge he gained and relationships he built while researching his graduate thesis, “Mental Health in Massachusetts: A De facto Criminal Offense.” This research acknowledged that the rates of suicide, opioid addiction, overdose, and incarceration directly correlate to the shortage and lack of access to mental health professionals. Kevin spent 17 years in health care on senior management teams and 12 years in the military as a member of the elite United States Submarine Force. He earned a master’s degree in Health Policy and Administration from The Pennsylvania State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Lynn University, graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors.

Presentations & Workshops

Building Resilience Among First Responders

This presentation educates the public on promoting resilience, reducing stigma, and lifting the mask on mental health among our nation’s first responders.

Before highlighting solutions to build resilience, we must first illustrate why promoting resilience is necessary for the mental health needs and survival of the first responder community. Since 2017, an average of 193 first responders per year have taken their lives (First H.E.L.P.), and “the stigmatization alone has created a boundary between the first responders and the need for mental healthcare” (AFBA, 2020). Fear of self-reporting signs of mental or emotional health concerns and reluctance to seek help, commonly perceived as signs of weakness or failure, too often results in first responder suicides.

Suicide is preventable, but preventing suicide requires participation at all levels of society. According to the CDC (2022), “Everyone can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs, promoting prevention and resilience, and committing to social change.” This is where The Quell Foundation’s Building Resilience Among First Responders program can play a role in educating first responders, and society, to recognize mental health warning signs within their community.

This presentation will also cover trauma among first responders. Becoming resilient requires us to accept our emotions as valid. To do so we must begin to identify and understand the genesis of our emotional response to events around us. This presentation acknowledges our nation’s first responders as caretakers of the communities they serve: as individuals that put their lives on the line to protect ours with disregard for their own wellbeing. Our session will educate audience members on how they can be instrumental in creating an environment which promotes mental wellness within this population of public servants. We will touch on the difference between acute, chronic, and complex trauma, and how to address each trauma to build resilience.

Learning Objectives

  • Attendees will learn why there is a disproportionate number of first responders suffering with an untreated mental health condition.
  • Attendees will learn how stigma surrounding first responder mental health is a significant contributing factor to suicide within this population.
  • Attendees will gain a greater understanding of the world as seen through the eyes of a first responder and how exposure to daily trauma can lead to mental health challenges including PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
  • Attendees will learn how resiliency training and community awareness can significantly improve first responder mental health and their ability to help others in crisis.

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