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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 May 17 -18, 2018 from 8:00am to 4:00pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 130 Beechland Road in Ellsworth.

The two-day ASIST training uses an evidence-based curriculum from Living Works Education, which focuses on how to help people who are having suicidal thoughts to find safety so that they can access community-based resources and supports. Participants will learn to identify the warning signs of suicide, employ communication methods to help people at risk feel less overwhelmed, less depressed, and more hopeful and connect them with professional help in the community. Participants will also learn how to use language that does not perpetuate stigma associated with feeling suicidal, improve their understanding of the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and actions in our community, and connect with community resources.

“To date, over a million people have been trained in ASIST,” said Tara Young, Community Health Program Coordinator with Healthy Acadia, and certified ASIST trainer. “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 training takes away the taboo, so that participants are able to have discussions about suicide and learn intervention techniques that research has shown to be effective. Over the two days of the course, we talk about how to provide information to promote life. This is what we really want to focus on. When nobody knows how to help someone with suicidal thoughts, those thoughts can turn into suicidal behaviors.”

The ASIST training model encourages participants to treat suicide as the public health issue that it is. ASIST training is comparable to CPR training – anyone in the community may be in a position to provide CPR, and may have no other medical training, or they may be a doctor or a nurse. ASIST is similarly versatile. People 16 years of age and older – teachers, doctors, mental health counselors, parents, or anyone interested in helping people in their community can become ASIST-trained.

“I’ve presented this training for over 7 years.” Tara concluded. “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.” Tuition fee is $50 per participant, which includes books, CEUs, lunch and snacks. Pre-registration is required. For more information, or to register, please contact Tara Young at 667-7171 or email [email protected]

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