Empowering our Spirits Tribal Suicide Prevention: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training



  • Mary Cwik, Assistant Scientist, Johns Hopkins
  • Novalene Goklish, Field Program Coordinator, Johns Hopkins
  • Francene Larzelere-Hinton, WMAT/JHU NARCH Director, Johns Hopkins

Discussion Forum:


Post training work:

  • April 4, 2012, 3-4:00 pm EST
  • May 2, 2012, 3-4:00 pm EST 
  • June 6, 2012, 3-4:00 pm EST 
  • July 25, 2012, 3-4:00 pm EST


The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) training is for caregivers who want to feel more comfortable, confident and competent in helping to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Over 950,000 caregivers have received this training. Just as "CPR" skills make physical first aid possible, training in suicide intervention develops the skills needed for suicide first aid. ASIST is an intensive, interactive and practice-dominated course designed to help caregivers recognize risk and learn how to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide.


Community teams of up to 5 caregivers (any persons in a position of trust). This includes professionals, paraprofessionals and lay people. It is suitable for mental health professionals, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, teachers, counselors, youth workers, police and correctional staff, school support staff, clergy, and community volunteers.


  • Attitudes – Connecting: The goals of this section are for participants to: (1) talk more openly about individual attitudes toward suicide and suicide first aid; (2) recognize how feelings about personal experiences with suicide might affect suicide first aid interventions; (3) identify beliefs that might make it difficult to be direct and comfortable in suicide situations. Identify beliefs that might be helpful in suicide first aid interventions.
  • Knowledge – Understanding: The goal of this section is to begin preparing participants to use the Suicide Intervention Model (SIM) by understanding how SIM meets the intervention needs of persons at risk. By completing this section, participants will be able to: (1) recognize SIM as a tool for meeting the intervention needs of the person at risk; (2) name the six basic caregiver tasks of SIM and explain how these tasks address the concerns of a person at risk; (3) understand how to use the Risk Review and Safeplan Guide.
  • Intervention Skills – Assisting: The goal of this section is to help participants feel more ready, willing, and able to assist a person at risk. By completing this section, participants will be able to: (1) recognize SIM as a tool that helps participants combine attitudes, knowledge and intervention skills in order to provide suicide first aid; (2) understand SIM; (3) use SIM to help a person at risk of suicide.
  • Resources – Networking: The goal of this section is to have participants commit to help with the networking of their community. By completing this section, participants will be able to: (1) complete the identification of existing community resources; (2) be optimistic about the possibility of building resource networks for persons at risk of suicide; (3) understand how ASIST supports the development of resource networks; (4) recognize the value of personal resource networks and other self-care ideas for caregivers.


For more information visit the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health website. 

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