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Evidence-based Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Coming to Ellsworth

Ellsworth – Healthy Acadia, in partnership with Access Health, will host an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) on Thursday and Friday, May 9-10, 2019 from 8:00am to 4:00pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 130 Beechland Road, Ellsworth.

The two-day, ASIST training uses an evidence-based curriculum from Living Works Education, focused on suicide intervention and prevention. ASIST explores ways to safely assist community members who are having thoughts of suicide find “safety for now” so that they can access community-based resources and supports. Participants will also learn how to use language that does not perpetuate stigma associated with having thoughts or feelings about suicide, understand the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and actions in our community, identify and connect with community resources. Throughout the session, participants will explore ways to build a suicide safer community by learning the warning signs of suicide and how to integrate resilience and life promotion to prevent thoughts of suicide in their community.

“We take away the taboo so that we are able to have discussions about suicide, and learn intervention techniques which research has shown to be effective,” said Tara Young, certified ASIST trainer with Healthy Acadia. “Over the two days of the course, we talk about how to provide information to sustain life. This is what we really want to focus on – when nobody knows how to help someone with suicidal thoughts, that’s when they start displaying suicidal behavior. To date, over a million people have been trained in ASIST to date, and many more are needed to help ensure our communities are doing everything we can to intervene and provide help for people who are having thoughts of suicide.”

The ASIST training treats suicide as the public health issue that it is. ASIST training is comparable to CPR – anyone in the community may be in a position to render CPR, and may have no other medical training, or they may be a doctor or a nurse. ASIST is similarly versatile. Youth 16 and older, teachers, doctors, mental health counselors, parents, or anyone can become ASIST trained.

“I’ve presented this training for over 8 years, said Young. “Every time I hold a training, I have someone come back to me within a month and say that they engaged in the ASIST process with a friend, coworker, client or loved one, and that person told them that the intervention saved their life.” For more information, or to register, please contact Tara Young at 667-7171 or email [email protected]

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