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ASIST : Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

Aims and target audience

ASIST Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (2 days): A skills building workshop that prepares caregivers to provide suicide first aid interventions.

The key objectives for you to learn to:

  • consider personal and societal attitudes to suicide
  • learn the most widely used suicide prevention model in the world
  • recognise, and act on, the signs that someone is having thoughts of suicide
  • seek a shared understanding of the reasons for thoughts of suicide and identify reasons for living
  • review current risk and develop a joint plan to keep someone safe from suicide, signposting for further help and community resources as needed.

ASIST is for those who are interested in a course that is used across the world to teach the skills of suicide prevention through intervention. It also explores personal attitudes to suicide and experiences. ASIST is aimed at those who want an in-depth exploration of suicide (of any age) and techniques to work with those who may have suicidal thoughts.

Learning outcomes

  • reflect on their own attitudes to suicide
  • reflect on the stigma in society around suicide and mental health
  • use the world’s most commonly used suicide prevention model
  • recognise signs of suicidal thoughts and know how to act
  • know how to focus on reasons for living as a way of working with those affected by suicidal thoughts
  • be aware of services and support available to those with suicidal thoughts, including PAPYRUS’s HOPELINE UK service

Delivery methods and styles

ASIST is only ever delivered face to face. It is done over two days using a variety of techniques with two trainers. It is interactive and participants are expected to contribute to sessions and group work around the subject of suicide. There are videos and slides as well as discussion and direct delivery.

Knowledge and skills required of the trainers

ASIST trainers must have been trained through the Living Works programme. This ensures that trainers have the requisite knowledge, expertise and resilience to run suicide prevention training over two days. Trainers are able to run group activities, support participants and deal with a sensitive subject in a practical and caring way.

Involvement of people with lived experience

PAPYRUS was founded by a group of parents who had all lost children and young people to suicide and therefore lived experience informs all our work. From our trustee board to our workforce and our volunteers, we involve those with lived experience in all we do.

ASIST is a training programme developed by Living Works and run across the world. As such, we do not influence it directly, but it has been developed using the lived experience of many.

Assessment, CPD credits, certification

ASIST is recognised by the World Health Organisation as an effective method of suicide prevention. There is a constant quality insurance programme used as part of the trainers’ validation and re-validation. All participants receive a certificate for their participation and evaluate each course.

Last Updated November 24, 2022

This content was updated within the last 6 months