Southside Behavioral Health was happy to work with Halifax County Public Schools to provide Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) at the STEM center. Teachers, school counselors, coaches, and other faculty are now better equipped with the knowledge and understanding necessary to keep our students safe. Together, we are stronger.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day, two-trainer, workshop designed for members of all caregiving groups. ASIST can provide those in formal helping roles with professional development to ensure that they are prepared to provide suicide first aid help as part of the care they provide. The emphasis is on teaching suicide first-aid to help a person at risk stay safe and seek further help as needed.

Participants learn to use a suicide intervention model to identify persons with thoughts of suicide, seek a shared understanding of reasons for dying and living, develop a safe plan based upon a review of risk, be prepared to do follow-up, and become involved in suicide-safer community networks. The learning process is based on adult learning principles and highly participatory. Graduated skills development occurs through mini-lectures, facilitated discussions, group simulations, and role-plays. and highly participatory.

The training was at no cost to HCPS and was grant-funded. Kenan Tyner-Smith, Prevention Manager, with Southside Behavioral Health was able to arrange this grant support training for HCPS.