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About Alive to Thrive

About Alive to Thrive

Why Alive to Thrive?

Adults who interact with children and teens are in a unique position to help prevent and respond effectively to youth suicide.

Alive to Thrive’s preventive training teaches these influential adults to proactively address issues that can lead to teen suicide. Additionally, the training discusses the spiritual aspects of suicide and offers Christian adults information that is clinically sound and grounded in the Bible.

Our Approach

From positive family relationships and connections to health and wellness tactics, a variety of factors can help today’s youth successfully cope with problems and crises.

In developing Alive to Thrive, we utilized theories of normal and abnormal child development — as well as scriptural teachings — to support and augment the clinical information.

Our Vision

The prevention of suicide — with its assorted spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological, and social causes and effects — falls squarely in line with Focus on the Family’s vision to redeem families, communities, and societies worldwide through Christ.

In order to reduce barriers to access, we offer Alive to Thrive’s collection of resources free of charge.

Danny Huerta

Danny Huerta, MSW, LCSW, LSSW

As the Vice President of Parenting and Youth at Focus on the Family, Danny oversees Focus’ initiatives that equip parents to disciple and mentor the next generation so they can thrive in Christ. A bilingual, licensed clinical social worker, Danny has provided many families with practical parenting advice. He specializes as a counselor and spokesperson in the treatment of a number of mental health disorders related to Alive to Thrive content such as depression, anxiety, trauma and the brain and stress management. Danny led the team that designed and developed Alive to Thrive.
Joannie Debrito

Joannie Debrito, Ph.D, LCSW, LMFT

As the Director of Parenting and Youth at Focus on the Family, Joannie draws from over 30 years of diverse experience as a parent and family life educator and licensed mental health professional. Her interest in suicide prevention and response was sparked after working with many suicidal students as a school social worker and college counseling center director. Joannie’s two areas of clinical expertise- marriage and family therapy and crisis and trauma counseling- were helpful when designing and developing the content in Alive to Thrive.
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson


Steve Johnson, former President of the Alliance for the Unreached, has served in international ministry for more than 30 years. His ministry work has included service with Compassion International, International Bible Society and HCJB Global (now Reach Beyond). He currently serves at Focus on the Family as the Vice President of Content Development. Steve provided content expertise as one of the designers and developers of Alive to Thrive.

Timothy Sanford

Timothy L. Sanford, MA, LPC


Tim Sanford is a licensed professional counselor and the clinical director of Focus on the Family’s Counseling department. He also manages his own private practice. A pastor and public speaker, Tim is the author of two books: Losing Control and Liking It and I Have to Be Perfect.

Additional Contributors

Geremy Keeton

is the Senior Director of Counseling Services at Focus on the Family and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He counsels, writes and conducts recovery groups on topics of healthy sexuality, infidelity and pornography addiction. Geremy lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and three children.

Tim Sanford

is the Clinical Director of Counseling Services at Focus on the Family and is a licensed professional counselor with over 27 years professional experience working with marriages, parenting, trauma, anxiety, and attachment. He is an ordained minister, a national speaker, and published author. Tim is married and has two adult daughters.

George Stahnke​

has worked at Focus on The Family for 15 years as a pastoral counselor in the areas of crisis intervention, marriage, parenting, church relations, conflict resolution, burnout, depression, sexual misconduct, internet pornography, trauma, and grief. George is the founder and director of Renewal Ministries of Colorado Springs; a private counseling practice.

Elaine Humphries

is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has worked at Focus on the Family for 13 years, practiced privately for 14 years, specializing in relationship issues, parenting, marriage, and women’s issues.  She has been married for 38 years, is the mother of 3 amazing adult children, and grandmother to 5 children.

Roberta Perno

is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years’ experience in the mental health field. In addition to working in the Focus on the Family counseling department, she is an instructor for Colorado Christian University, and has an online therapy private practice.

Lori Graham

has a PhD in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has over 30 years’ experience working with adults, couples, and adolescents. Her private practice specializes in depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, chronic mental illness, and divorce recovery. Lori is married, has two adult children, one grandson and calls Monument, CO home.

Christina Chismar

is a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed cosmetologist, and a professional humor therapist. She has worked at Focus on the Family as a counselor for over 11 years and specializes in the areas of severe trauma, sensory processing issues, and attachment. Christina and her husband reside in Colorado Springs where she maintains a private practice.

Patrick Hill

is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Clinical Sex Addiction Specialist. He has been married for 27 years and has two children. Patrick’s passion as a counselor and as a man of God is to see men embrace the calling God has on their lives and to see families thrive in Christ

Yolie Fernandez Brown

is a bi-lingual Licensed Professional Counselor who likes to come alongside individuals, couples and families and help them heal, restore and grow in life. When she’s not at work, she likes to find sunny, warm places to play with her family and friends.

John Thorington

is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Focus on the Family.  He is a certified Sexual Recovery Therapist, and has over 40 years experienced in counseling and ministry settings.   He is married with three grown daughters and four grandchildren.

MT Wilson

worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor for over 20 years and a sex therapist for more than 10 years before transitioning his private counseling practice into a coaching business that serves individuals and marriages in the areas of sexual integrity recovery as well as overall marital health. MT is also the author of 3 books.

Jenny Coffey

is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in the areas of infidelity recovery, miscarriage/infant loss, OCD, and marital growth. She keeps busy outside of her career with her four kids (eight and under), a firefighter husband, 2 dogs and pig. Fitness is her personal outlet and she enjoys teaching group exercise classes with the YMCA.

Jim Ware

is the father of six children, a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, an employee of Focus on the Family, and a freelance author living in Colorado Springs with his wife Joni.  He is also the author of several books, including God of the Fairy Tale and Finding God in the Lord of the Rings (with Kurt Bruner).

Learn How to Help Prevent Teen Suicide