ELLSWORTH — In an effort to address the critical issue of suicide prevention within the community, Healthy Acadia is partnering with Ellsworth Adult and Community Education to offer Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training sessions. These training sessions, aimed at equipping individuals with the skills to intervene and provide support to those experiencing thoughts of suicide, will be held on Sept. 28-29.

The ASIST training sessions will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints community room, 130 Beechland Road, Ellsworth. The training will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, and participants will be guided through an evidence-based curriculum developed by Living Works Education. Focusing on effective intervention strategies, the program will instruct attendees on the safe engagement of individuals grappling with suicidal thoughts, helping them find immediate safety and access community-based resources and assistance.

Participants will gain insights into using language that does not reinforce stigma surrounding suicide-related thoughts or emotions, comprehend the prevalence of such thoughts within the community, and establish connections with available community resources. ASIST training encompasses prevention techniques, educating participants about recognizing warning signs of suicide, and integrating resilience and connectivity to deter suicidal ideation.

“More than a million people have been trained in ASIST to date,” said Tara Young, a certified ASIST trainer and community health coordinator with Healthy Acadia. “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 a public health approach to address the urgency of suicide prevention. Comparable to CPR training, where individuals from various backgrounds can provide life-saving support, ASIST is designed with similar adaptability. It caters to youth aged 16 and above, educators, medical professionals, mental health experts, parents, and anyone interested in making a difference.

“We have presented this training for more than 10 years,” noted Young. “Every time we’ve held an ASIST class, at least one participant tells us that they used what they learned to help a friend, co-worker, or family member and that the person they helped told them, ‘You saved my life.'”

The registration fee for the training is $50, which covers all training materials and lunch for both days. The fee will be waived if cost is a barrier to attendance. Participants seeking professional development opportunities can earn 15 Continuing Education Units, while students may accrue community service hours towards graduation.

For more information and to register for the ASIST training, interested individuals can visit the Healthy Acadia website or contact Ellsworth Adult Education.

For more information, please contact Tara Young at 207-812-2090 or email tara@healthyacadia.org. To register, go to https://ellsworth.coursestorm.com/course/applied-suicide-intervention-skills-training-asist4/a31d4c7c2a5f11ee83720a43100e1467.

Healthy Acadia is a 501(C)(3) community health organization building vibrant communities and making it easier for all people to lead healthy lives throughout Washington and Hancock counties. For more information about Healthy Acadia’s community health and wellness programs and services, visit healthyacadia.org.