Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
ASIST is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first-aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don’t need any formal training to attend the workshop—ASIST can be learned and used by anyone.
We also provide the 3.5 hour ASIST TuneUp which participants can complete 2 years after the 2 day training to accredit them for another 2 years in the current version 11.1.
ASIST makes a difference
As the world’s leading suicide intervention workshop, LivingWorks’ ASIST program is supported by numerous evaluations including independent and peer-reviewed studies. Results demonstrate that ASIST helps participants become more willing, ready, and able to intervene with someone at risk of suicide.
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 to ASIST-trained counsellors were 74% less likely to be suicidal after the call, compared to callers who spoke to counsellors trained in methods other than ASIST. Callers were also less overwhelmed, less depressed and more hopeful after speaking with ASIST-trained counsellors.
- FOCUS: Suicide intervention training
- DURATION: Two days (15 hours)
- PARTICIPANTS: Anyone 16 or older
- TRAINERS: Two registered trainers per 15–30 participants
- LANGUAGES: English, French, Spanish, Inuktitut, and Norwegian; Large print and Braille also available
Goals and objectives
In the course of the two-day workshop, course participants learn to:
- Understand the ways personal and societal attitudes affect views on suicide and interventions
- Provide guidance and suicide first-aid to a person at risk in ways that meet their individual safety needs
- Identify the key elements of an effective suicide safety plan and the actions required to implement it
- Appreciate the value of improving and integrating suicide prevention resources in the community at large
- Recognise other important aspects of suicide prevention including life-promotion and self-care
ASIST workshops are facilitated by a minimum of two registered trainers who have completed a five-day Training for Trainers (T4T) course. ASIST trainers come from diverse backgrounds, but they must all deliver regular workshops and participate in a rigorous quality control program to remain registered. For information about trainers in your area, contact the LivingWorks Australian of office. Lists of upcoming workshops are posted on www.livingworks.com.au.
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 organisations 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 organisational backgrounds.
ASIST is based on adult learning principles. Valuing participants’ contributions and experiences, it encourages them to take an active role in the learning process. ASIST’s key features include:
- Small-group learning -To facilitate involvement, participants spend over half the workshop in a small group with one of the trainers.
- Audiovisual aid – High-quality slides, diagrams, and videos help participants understand and memorise concepts.
- Training focus – Some participants may have previous personal or professional experience with suicide or intervention. ASIST builds on these experiences to contribute to the overall learning goal—providing suicide first-aid.
- Reliable, proven model – Workshop activities are structured around the ASIST intervention model and provide applicable, hands-on skills practice.
- Emphasis on individual needs – Participants learn to adapt to the specific circumstances of a person at risk and work collaboratively to help them stay safe.
- Perspective matters – Participants are encouraged to reflect on and share their own attitudes about suicide and suicide intervention. This helps them understand how their perspectives may affect their role in providing help to a person at risk.
- Direct approach – By encouraging honest, open, and direct talk about suicide, ASIST helps prepare participants to discuss the topic with a person at risk.
- Adaptable components – ASIST trainers can tailor certain features of the program, such as role-playing activities, to meet participants’ professional or cultural needs.