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Livingworks ASIST – Suicide Prevention Training

Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives. And 75% of all UK suicides are male.* One of the main aims of Feelschool is to reduce male suicide through development of emotional intelligence skills.

I was lucky enough to get a funded place on a suicide prevention course in Lincoln, UK a few years back. Spotting an advert I quickly booked the local course but was not ready for what I was taught on the ASIST programme by LivingWorks.

Trusted by professionals yet learnable by anyone, LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is the only workshop of its kind. Updated continually to reflect new knowledge, LivingWorks ASIST has been empowering people to provide skilled, life-saving interventions for over 35 years.

It was a short course, so we got straight down to it, hearing some awful stories of loss from course participants. There were some clear take-home points from the course including the following.

Ask directly if you think someone is thinking of harming themselves

this seemed intrusive while practicing on the course, but I have asked a few people since and the response has been positive. I expected some blowback when asking but all the people I asked were glad – and one was actually thinking about it, and got some help after our conversation. That was such a meaningful moment and I probably wouldn’t have asked if I hadn’t gone on this course, but danced around it.

Find a reason to defer

Another counterintuitive aspect to me was to help the person find a reason to postpone their actions. Asking people if they have a pet or a loved one that needs them is borderline guilting people into not doing something drastic, but again has been received well by people I’ve mentioned it to. Having an external person or animal relying on them seems to help remove the urgency to act and remind them of a reason to keep going.

Create a safety plan

In extreme cases this could be drive someone to hospital, but in many cases it could be as simple as signposting some support services and letting their nearest and dearest know about the situation.

Find ASIST Training

I’d fully recommend getting the ASIST training, and you can find local courses here

More information about ASIST suicide prevention training.