Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) in Mt. Village

Here is a picture of those who are certified in ASIST and safeTALK. From left in back row are: Jamie Chiklak, Tania Beans, Daphne Joe, Valerie Reimer-Ely (instructor), Sharon Alexie, LeeAnna Wilde, Gloria George, Beth Chief, and Hazel Walters. Front row from left are: Nancy A. Andrews, Eugene Landlord, and Clara Amos. Photo courtesy of Asa'carsarmiut Tribe

by Asa’carsarmiut Tribal Council Staff

ASIST came to the community of Mountain Village for the first time Thursday May 24th through Friday May 25th! Twelve participants had the privilege of successfully completing the ASIST workshop in suicide first aid and eight individuals succeeded in the “safeTALK” workshop in suicide alertness.
The Applied Suicide Interventions Skills training was a committed two day course for everyone 15 years and older. ASIST is a resource for the whole community, it teaches people how to do interventions for people at risk for suicide. Its widespread use in various communities creates a common language to understand suicide safety issues.
We focused on prevention which explored the reduction of things that may contribute to suicide like trauma, stressors, and hardships, as well as intervention in which we would take action to increase safety on the person with thoughts of suicide (focus is suicide first aid), and postvention which we would help those with suicide behaviors who may have injured themselves and those affected.
“SafeTALK” is Suicide Alertness for Everyone. This workshop was offered as an extra opportunity to those who were unable to commit to the two day course of ASIST. This training focused on appropriate dialogue when speaking to someone with thoughts of suicide. We learned the best way to find out if someone is thinking of suicide is to ask directly. Then the care person begins to reduce the risk of suicide by safely following steps and are used as a resource to lead the person to immediate proper care through available community resources.