Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Introduction

ASIST is a two-day practical workshop developing skills through observation and supervised simulation in large and small groups.

With over one million people trained in suicide intervention skills, ASIST is by far the most widely used suicide intervention skills training in the world.

What is the Purpose of the Course?

ASIST is intended as ‘suicide first-aid’ training.

Who Should Attend?

This course will benefit anyone coming into contact with individuals who may be at risk of suicide.

Aim of the Course

ASIST is a nationally recognised course designed to help people learn how to recognise the signs of suicidal thoughts and how to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide.

It aims to enable helpers (anyone in a position of trust) to become more willing, ready, and able to recognise and intervene effectively to help persons at risk of suicide.

Objectives of the Course

Participants will learn how to:

  • Identify cues indicating risk of suicide;
  • Discuss suicide with a person at risk;
  • Develop the skills to intervene with that person; and
  • Provide ‘suicide first aid’.

Course Assumptions

As a suicide intervention programme it is based on certain fundamental assumptions about suicide:

  • Suicide is a community-wide health problem.
  • Suicide is not mental illness.
  • Thoughts of suicide are understandable, complex and personal.
  • Suicide can be prevented.
  • Most people with thoughts of suicide want to live.
  • Most people with thoughts of suicide indicate, directly or indirectly, that they want help to live.
  • Help-seeking is encouraged by open, direct and honest talk about suicide.
  • The best way to identify people with thoughts of suicide is to ask them directly about their thoughts.
  • Relationships are the context of suicide intervention.
  • Intervention should be the main suicide prevention focus.
  • Cooperation is the essence of intervention.
  • Intervention skills are known and can be learned.
  • Large numbers of people can be taught intervention skills.
  • Evidence of effectiveness should be broadly defined.

Course Format and Content

  • Why first aid?
  • Why ASIST training is needed.
  • About connecting and show cause of death?
  • Connecting feelings and experiences with suicide and helping.
  • Connecting attitudes with suicide and helping.
  • Introduction to understanding.
  • Explore invitations.
  • Ask about thoughts of suicide.
  • Understanding choices phase.
  • Hear their story.
  • Support turning to safety.
  • Assisting life phase.
  • Develop a safe plan.
  • Confirm actions.
  • PAL in action and it begins with you.
  • Role play to develop skills practice:
    • Observation and feedback to peers.
    • Connecting Simulation.
    • Support Turning to Safety Simulation.
    • PAL Simulation.
    • Safety First Simulation.
    • Workgroup practice.
  • Relationships with persons at risk.
  • Community relations discussion.

Assessment

A range of methods are used, including:

  • Role-play; and
  • Observation.

Accreditation

A certificate of attendance is awarded on successful completion.

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