The often disturbing subject of suicide has been in both the local and national news lately.
Mike Macon, the provisional trainer for the LivingWorks ASIST program, was Friday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
Crisis intervention training programs, like LivingWorks’ Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), equip people to respond knowledgeably and competently to persons at risk of suicide. Participants learn and practice skills in identifying and responding to people at immediate risk of suicide. Just as “CPR” skills make physical first aid possible, training in suicide intervention develops the skills used in suicide first aid. Skills training programs should address caregiver attitudes towards suicide since these personal elements affect willingness to help and the effectiveness of the help. Such programs also typically explore options for linking people with resources for ongoing help.
Skills training programs are longer and aimed at persons in positions of trust. The persons best able to provide suicide first aid are the persons others turn to in times of trouble. In intervention skills programs, such persons are typically called caregivers or gatekeepers.
Intervention training programs are skills-based and provide a solid foundation for intervention and follow-up. Those participating in a suicide intervention skills workshop should leave feeling willing, ready and able to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Thus empowered, participants from an intervention skills training are often more willing to take a leadership role in suicide prevention and life-assisting programs.
Both awareness and intervention skills are essential and every community needs people who support suicide prevention as well as caregivers who are prepared to intervene.
A two day seminar will be held in the Sonora High School library on Thursday and Friday October 7th and 8th. For those who can’t make it, there will be another two day seminar on January 27 & 28th, 2011.
The cost is $50 and the fee will help to include training materials, snacks and lunch.
Reservations are a must and those interested in finding out more information are asked to call Denise Rogers at the Tuolumne County Schools Office.
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.
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