By February 23, 2016FirstLink

As part of my internship with FirstLink I attended ASIST in January. ASIST is Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. This was my second time attending ASIST and I feel it was a much better experience than the previous time. ASIST is a two day training program where you learn suicide intervention skills in crawl, walk, and run phases. This just means that the instructors ease you into the information and by the time the training is complete, you are ready, willing and able to assist anyone who may be in need of your help.
Talking about suicide is not an easy thing to do right off the bat. My first experience with ASIST, I was a little shy when talking about my experiences with suicide. However, when someone starts talking about their story, it makes it a little easier to open up and talk about yours. Talking about my suicide experiences brought up a lot of hard feelings that I didn’t want others to see. When I started becoming emotional, I could see others also crying so I knew I wasn’t alone. Feeling alone is one of the worst feelings, but you are not alone. Almost everyone has some kind of suicide story whether that is the individual themselves or someone they know or knew of. Talking about my suicide story not only helped me verbalize it, but it also helped me get over the stigma of it. I am now not afraid to tell anyone that someone close to me died by suicide. This is one of the first tasks in ASIST, just being able to openly talk about suicide.
Getting to know the other people in my training was great too. Not only did I feel more comfortable in the training, but it also makes me feel more comfortable when I know there are more people in my community trained and willing to help someone when they are having thoughts of suicide. The people I trained with brought so many different backgrounds and knowledge to the table. They were able to come up with questions that I wouldn’t have thought of but were important to ask. Learning from others has always fascinated me. I love learning about their experiences and being able to apply them to my own life. Their success stories, in this case, were extremely helpful to understand the variety of ways an intervention can be done.
By the end of training, we all had a solid grasp of how an intervention would work. The model ASIST gives will work in most situations. Getting the individual at risk safe is what anyone trying to help wants for that individual in the end. Every intervention will run differently because it is all dependent on the relationship you have with the person at risk and what the person at risk’s situation is. During the training, we were able to see many different scenarios that may occur. This was helpful to just see the wide variety of situations. I learned a great point during this though and that was that as long as you don’t rush the individual and let them guide you through the intervention, it will work. The most important piece, I thought, about the intervention was the initial contact. Being able to know when an intervention is needed and when it’s not is the most import factor. I would recommend this training to anyone. It is a great learning experience and it is something that is needed in today’s society.