Be prepared with Suicide Intervention Skills Training

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills workshop.

 

APPLIED Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshops are being held in and around Coffs, working with Covid-19 restrictions and postponements, to support the community and work to reduce and prevent suicide.

“ASIST workshops are for everyone in our community,” Magda Pomroy, Student Support Officer for Bellingen Shire Youth Services and the facilitator of ASIST, told News Of The Area.

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“Our aim is to educate as many people as possible in our community, so we all know how we can support someone who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, break the stigma, and open up conversations around this very important and serious issue.

“With two facilitators we spend two full days talking about our beliefs and attitudes around suicide and learning new skills to engage in a life-saving conversation.”

There’s lots of role playing and interactive group work, and “although it is a heavy topic, it is actually loads of fun”.

“We have seen the rise of suicide in our communities, and we know it is something we have kept silent for too long,” Magda said.

“We need to be able to say to someone ‘I need help’ without people feeling uncomfortable, scared, ashamed.”

“There are the usual symptoms we hear about, like being withdrawn, changing behaviours, low mood.

“However, we also know that when someone decides to suicide, they may feel relief.

“This is also a change in their behaviour, this is why we need to ask,” said Magda.

Being honest and non-threatening, we can say to someone we’re worried about, “I have noticed…” or “I am worried because I have seen that…”.

“And please follow up with people,” Magda said.

“It helps others to know that you really mean it when you say you are there for them.

“Doing ASIST changed my way of supporting people and has helped me professionally and personally for many years.”

The commitment of two full days is worthwhile, according to Magda, “you’ll be so glad you did it”.

For dates and registration for the ASIST Program contact Magda Pomroy via email: [email protected] or phone: 0401 386 834.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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