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ASIST Training

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

ASIST Overview in Oklahoma and references

 Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training is a curriculum developed by Living Works Inc., Calgary AB,Canada. (www.livingworks.net)

It was compiled and organized by the University of Calgary with grants from the Government of Canada and has been used to train more than 500,000 people in a dozen countries. Suicide intervention concepts are presented interactively in a two-day seminar for small groups of 15-20 participants. The material represents 25 years of practical experience and scientific research. This curriculum is now being utilized by the US Military as a strategy to interrupt the process of suicide ideation prior to attempts and/or completion. The US Army and Air Force report a significant reduction in suicide attempts and completions with improved early referrals for treatment since implementation of this program. *1-4 Outcome studies of community based ASIST programs in British Columbia and Australia indicate significant improvement in the ability of trained gatekeepers to deal with suicide intervention issues. *5,6

In 2000, the C/SARA (Crisis Support and Resource Association) Foundation Inc. (a non profit foundation) hosted Training for Trainers for 21 participants from 5 states in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Financial help from Mercy Memorial Hospital in Ardmore and the Carter, Love and Johnson County Medical Societies supported this program. C/SARA Trainers completed update training for the newest version (X) of the curriculum in 2005. Version XI is coming up and our trainers are updating to that version.  

C/SARA Foundation trainers have trained more than 1500 participants in Oklahoma including; firefighters, clergy, policemen, medical professionals, mental health professionals, school counselors, and many interested lay individuals. Our organization has partnered with other entities such as the Chickasaw nation to provide this training at low or no cost in the Southern Oklahoma Area.

 

  1. The USAF Suicide Prevention Program, Preventing Suicide-The National Journal, Feb 2004, P2-9
  2. Risk Of Suicide And Related Adverse Outcomes After Exposure To A Suicide Prevention

Programme In The US Air Force: Cohort Study, Knox KL, Litts DA,Talcott GW, Feig JC, Caine

ED. British Medical Journal., 13 Dec 2003; 327 (7428).

  1. Annex-D, Review of Soldier Suicides, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Mental Health Advisory Team (MHAT), 16 December 2003, Chartered by: US Army Surgeon General, Reference to ASIST P D-17

“Commanders should also ensure that they have sufficient ASIST trained personnel within their units. ASIST isvery similar to the Army’s combat lifesaving program, with the focus on identifying whether or not someone is at risk for suicide, and then if warranted, applying a proven intervention model that protects the individual until the chain of command or a behavioral help professional can assist. One of the objectives of the Army Suicide Prevention Campaign Plan is to target those who are most likely to come in contact with a person at risk for suicide to receive the ASIST training.”

  1. Army Suicide Prevention- A Guide for Installations and Units, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, DC (ASIST training discussed in Section 5-2, 5-3)
  2. Evaluation Report, Youth Suicide Prevention In British Columbia: Putting Best Practices Into Action , Mental Health Evaluation and Community Consultation Unit, April 2001, P 41-42
  3. Preliminary evaluation of a university-based suicide intervention project: impact on
  4. participants, Pearce, Rickwood, Beaton, Australian Network for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for mental health, www.auseinet.com/journal
  5. ASIST Overview in Oklahoma and references 05-22

 

Additional references and comments:

Excerpted from Preventing Suicide-The National Journal , Feb 2004

“The USAF Suicide Prevention Program” , P2-9

Note- The USAF Program incorporates ASIST training for first responder gatekeepers.

“Risk of suicide and related adverse outcomes after exposure to a suicide prevention program in the US Air

Force: cohort study.” Knox KL, Litts DA,Talcott GW, Feig JC, Caine ED. British Medical

Journal. 13 Dec 2003; 327 (7428). Correspondence to K L Knox Kerry_knox@urmc.rochester.edu

“The NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) suggested grantees with evaluation interest and experience,” notes David Litts, O.D., retired USAF colonel and now with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) in Newton, Mass. “The team from the University of Rochester found this project particularly interesting.”

The U of Rochester research team analyzed data collected from 1990 to 2002 by the Air Force on its activeduty

airmen, reviewing suicide rates among about 350,000 active duty men and women before and after the Air

Force implemented the program. Researchers studied all airmen and not just those at high risk for suicide,

which is the more typical approach.

Research published in the BMJ reports on the first six years of this ongoing USAF program and shows the

following:

• Suicides decreased 33 percent

• Severe family violence declined 54 percent

• Homicides dropped 51 percent

• Accidental deaths declined 18 percent

“What we gained from this investigation is a remarkable global view of violence prevention in a tightly

organized group of people under considerable job stress,” says Knox. “The Air Force was successful in that

they reached out to all folks instead of just those identified at high risk. We believe key lessons from this

program could be adapted to other workplaces including police and fire departments, large corporations,

schools, universities and even small countries.”  Charles H.“Chip” Roadman II, former USAF surgeon general and planning team leader for the USAF suicide prevention project Annex D, Review of Soldier Suicides, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Mental Health Advisory Team (MHAT), 16 December 2003, Chartered by: US Army Surgeon General

 

Reference to ASIST P D-17

“Commanders should also ensure that they have sufficient ASIST trained personnel within their units. JASIST is very similar to the Army’s combat lifesaving program, with the focus on identifying whether or not someone is at risk for suicide, and then if warranted, applying a proven intervention model that protects the individual until the chain of command or a behavioral help professional can assist. One of the objectives of the Army Suicide Prevention Campaign Plan is to target those who are most likely to come in contact with a person at risk for suicide to receive the ASIST training.

Army Suicide Prevention- A Guide for Installations and Units”, Headquarters Department of the Army,

Washington, DC. ASIST training discussed in Section 5-2, 5-3

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