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Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is for everyone 16 or older—regardless of prior experience—who wants to be able to provide suicide first aid. Shown by major studies to significantly reduce suicidality, the ASIST model teaches effective intervention skills while helping to build suicide prevention networks in the community.
Each ASIST workshop shares many core features that make up the Living Works international standard. Here is what you can expect at your ASIST training:
safeTALK is a half-day training to increase suicide alertness.
This program alerts community members to signs that a person may be considering suicide. It acknowledges that while most people at risk of suicide signal their distress and invite help, these intervention opportunities are often overlooked. Participants learn to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and to respond in ways that link them with further suicide intervention help. Suicide alert helpers contribute to a suicide-safer community.
Goals and objectives
It is intended that safeTALK participants will be better prepared to:
Suicide alert community members are better prepared to become a vital link in connecting persons at risk with further help.
safeTALK is facilitated by a registered trainer who has completed the safeTALK Training for Trainers (T4T) course. Trainers use internationally standardized learning materials, tailoring examples and applications to local needs. A listing of registered trainers can be found at www.livingworks.net under safeTALK Consumer Information. Trainers must facilitate a minimum number of trainings per year and submit reports in order to remain on this list and receive ongoing support.
Many things, personal and professional, stimulate interest in safeTALK. Improved suicide alertness may be applied in many settings—with family, friends, and co-workers and in more formal helping relationships. The fact that safeTALK is a half-day program that can be given to larger groups increases opportunities for improving suicide alertness on a community scale.
Some organizations may choose to train a large number of people in safeTALK, while inviting key people, designated as suicide first aid resource persons, to attend Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). In our experience, some people who attend safeTALK want to learn more skills in suicide first aid and go on to also attend ASIST.
safeTALK and ASIST
safeTALK is designed to complement ASIST. These programs share the same beliefs about suicide and preventing suicide. However, each has a specific role. safeTALK is a brief program that shows how alertness to suicide risk can be followed by basic (TALK) steps that facilitate links with further suicide first aid help. The emphasis is on fulfilling this vital linking role with community resources rather than full engagement in a suicide first aid intervention. It will stimulate people to think and hopefully act differently when signs of potential suicide risk are present. ASIST is a two-day interactive workshop which provides an opportunity to learn more about what is involved in suicide first aid intervention. Participants learn how to develop a collaborative helping relationship focused on suicide safety. Frameworks for understanding the needs of a person at risk are offered, along with a Suicide Intervention Model that features risk assessment and safe plans. Opportunities for practice to build confidence and skills are provided. The roles of both the suicide alert and ASIST helpers are valued. ASIST caregivers complete the process that safeTALK helpers start. The more people who are suicide alert, the more the skills of those trained in suicide intervention will be used.
Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack — even if you have no clinical training — Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.
Mental Health First Aid is an adult public education program designed to improve participants' knowledge and modify their attitudes and perceptions about mental health and related issues, including how to respond to individuals who are experiencing one or more acute mental health crises (i.e., suicidal thoughts and/or behavior, acute stress reaction, panic attacks, and/or acute psychotic behavior) or are in the early stages of one or more chronic mental health problems (i.e., depressive, anxiety, and/or psychotic disorders, which may occur with substance abuse).
The intervention is delivered by a trained, certified instructor through an interactive 8-hour course, which can be completed in one 8- hour course or two 4-hour sessions. The course introduces participants to risk factors, warning signs, and symptoms for a range of mental health problems. It builds participants' understanding of the impact and prevalence of mental health problems; and provides an overview of common support and treatment resources for those with a mental health problem. Participants also are taught a five-step action plan, known as ALGEE, for use when providing Mental Health First Aid to an individual in crisis:
In addition, the course helps participants to not only gain confidence in their capacity to approach and offer assistance to others, but also to improve their personal mental health. After completing the course and passing an examination, participants are certified for 3 years as a Mental Health First Aider.
The ManCave is SPARC’s initiative to be out in the community and raise awareness about suicide prevention. Our goal is to make available resources to support anyone who may be struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts. A portable fun spot; when folks request a mancave, SPARC partners will bring the tent and all the goodies to your community event. We have snacks and games, giveaways and promotional items that provide a light environment for folks to get more information about suicide prevention and means safety. We highlight local community resources as well as websites and classes, should a person or their loved one need it during a time of mental health crisis. Using tablets and computers to connect people to the unique MANTHERAPY.org site, we encourage a fun review of warning signs and risk factors that help people know when they may need to pursue professional help. Endorsing and promoting the regional “Lock and Talk” campaign, we also have trigger and gun locks, medication lock boxes and additional materials that help people to learn how to have the conversation about suicide when they are concerned about a person’s safety.
Request the ManCave for your community event today and help to shine a light on suicide prevention.
Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.
The intervention is delivered by a trained, certified instructor through an interactive 8-hour course, which can be completed in one 8- hour course or two 4-hour sessions. Participants also are taught a five-step action plan, known as ALGEE, for use when providing Mental Health First Aid to a youth in crisis:
In addition, the course helps participants to not only gain confidence in their capacity to approach and offer assistance to youth, but also to improve their personal mental health. After completing the course and passing an examination, participants are certified for 3 years as a Youth Mental Health First Aider.