Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Helps with Suicide Intervention

Story Number: NNS171031-16Release Date: 10/31/2017 11:27:00 AM
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By Dr. Debbi Byrd, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) Facilitator

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first-aid. Unlike suicide prevention briefs and workshops where the focus is on awareness and connecting the at-risk person to someone who can help, ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may be at risk of suicide and intervene as the caregiver to help create a plan that will support their immediate safety. ASIST caregivers may remain with the person through the entire process if both parties are able and willing.

Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers and first responders, participants do not need any prior formal training to attend the workshop. ASIST is a resource for the whole community. It helps people apply suicide first-aid in many settings: with family, friends, co-workers, and teammates, as well as formal caregiving roles.

Many organizations have incorporated ASIST into professional development for their employees. Its widespread use in various communities creates a common language to understand suicide safety issues and communicate across different organizational backgrounds.

Service members who have successfully completed ASIST training carry this certification with them wherever they go and, if they choose to use this training, are received as a valuable asset in their community.

ASIST makes a difference. As the world's leading suicide intervention workshop (ASIST has been delivered in over 30 countries to more than 1,000,000 participants), it helps participants become more willing, ready, and able to INTERVENE with someone at risk of suicide. Similar to CPR, people leave the two-day training with the knowledge and skills to intervene with an at-risk person. ASIST is also proven to reduce suicidality for those at risk.

A 2013 study that monitored over 1,500 suicidal callers to crisis lines found that callers who spoke with ASIST-trained counselors were 74% less likely to be suicidal after the call, compared to callers who spoke with counselors trained in methods other than ASIST. Callers were also less overwhelmed, less depressed, and more hopeful after speaking with ASIST-trained counselors.

Guantanamo Bay will be hosting its first ever ASIST Training for Trainers (T4T) from Tuesday, November 14 through Saturday, November 18. Participants successfully completing this intensive five-day training will then be certified to teach the two- day ASIST classes. Registration for the ASIST T4T is full.

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