ORRINGTON — Healthy Acadia is partnering with the Orrington Lighthouse Church of God to offer a two-day, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 24-25 at the Orrington Lighthouse Church of God, 696 River Road, Orrington. The class will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. 

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training is an intensive, two-day, in-person training where people are taught how to skillfully intervene, assist someone in crisis, and help them stay safe. ASIST is an evidence-based curriculum from Living Works Education focused on intervention. Participants will learn how to safely engage with community members who are having thoughts of suicide to help them find “safety for now” and assist them in accessing community-based resources and supports.

Participants will also learn how to use language which does not perpetuate stigma associated with having thoughts or feelings about suicide, understand the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and actions in our community, and connect with community resources. Another important aspect of the training will be prevention — working to build a suicide — safer community by learning warning signs for suicide and how to integrate resilience and connection to prevent thoughts of suicide in our community. The training is highly interactive, and appropriate for anyone in the community who is 16 or older.

 “To date, over one million people have been trained in ASIST,” said Tara Young, Healthy Acadia’s Drug-Free Communities coordinator and certified ASIST trainer. “Many more are needed to help ensure our communities are doing everything we can to intervene and provide help for people who are having thoughts of suicide.”

 “ASIST training takes away the taboo to enable discussions about suicide, and teaches effective intervention techniques,” said Daniel Jones, a certified ASIST trainer who serves as co-lead pastor alongside his wife, Nicole, at Christian Ridge Church of God. “For me, I have struggled with thoughts of suicide in the past… and one [thought] is just one too many, so if we can help make a more suicide-aware or safe community… it’s worth it!”

The ASIST training treats suicide as the public health issue that it is. ASIST training is comparable to CPR training – anyone in the community may be in a position to render CPR, and may have no other medical training, or they may be a doctor or a nurse. ASIST is similarly versatile. Any individual aged 16 and older, including teachers, students, doctors, mental health professionals, parents, and others, can become ASIST-trained.

“Suicide prevention and intervention skills are extremely important for this community and means a lot within the Calais Skatepark community,” said Spencer McCormick of the Calais Skatepark Committee. “We are happy to support this training and wish as many people as possible to attend.”

For more information and to register please contact Tara Young at 207-812-2090 or email tara@healthyacadia.org.

To make a donation to support the sustainability of ASIST training in our communities, go to bit.ly/support-asist.

Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. Learn more at www.healthyacadia.org.