07 Sep Suicide Prevention: County ASIST Training
In April we helped provide a training program that teaches participants how to assist those at risk of suicide.
This training is a program from Kansas suicide Prevention HQ(KSPHQ) called Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). ASIST is a two day program that focuses on providing an immersive learning experience for participant while removing the stigma that only those specializing in healthcare can be effective
“It is often thought that only mental health or healthcare professionals can support those at risk of suicide,” Meg Hasselman, Program Coordinator for KSPHQ said, “ASIST emphasizes the importance of everyone being willing/able to provide support to people who are struggling with thoughts of suicide.”
Thirty McPherson County community members were able to receive the trainings in April, and an opportunity to provide the training again is currently in discussion.
When asked of the importance of the training for community member Hasselman had this to say:
“Trainings, like ASIST, are incredibly important because the more people who can identify and support someone in a suicide crisis, the more likely it is that the person at risk will get connected to the proper support.”
Providing this training meets our continued commitment to an increased awareness and availability of mental health resources. This has especially been a focus of our Community Coalition. We also will be having our Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk at Memorial park on Sept. 23 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Suicide has been considered an epidemic among young adults. Suicide is attributed to the death of 46,979 Americans in 2020, making it the number 12 cause of death and the third leading cause of death in those aged 15 to 24 according to SAVE.org. Kansas is ranked 33 in the country with a rate of 18.3 deaths per 100,000 almost four deaths higher than the national average.