Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) – Uqaqatigiiluk! (Talk About It) (Synopsis)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police - "V" Division

Description: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day, skill-building workshop on suicide intervention for professionals, police officers, volunteers and other helpers. First developed in 1983 and in use around the world, the program was adapted in 2009 by the people of Nunavut and LivingWorks (a suicide prevention organization based in Calgary) to suit local needs. The Nunavut version of ASIST is presented by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Nunavut Department of Health. The workshop teaches participants how to:
  • identify people who have thoughts of suicide;
  • understand how beliefs and attitudes can affect suicide interventions;
  • seek a shared understanding of the reasons for thoughts of suicide and the reasons for living;
  • review current risks and develop a plan to increase safety from suicidal behaviour for an agreed amount of time; and
  • follow-up on all safety commitments, accessing further help as needed.

The workshop is delivered in English, French, Inuktitut or Innuinaqtun, using small group discussions and practice scenarios based on adult learning principles. The program is run through Nunavut Arctic College and promoted at local community learning centres.
Objective: The program aims to reduce the rates of suicide in Nunavut by training first responders and key community contacts to recognize the signs of those at risk of suicide, intervene and make referrals for support services.
Outcomes: The Nunavut version of ASIST has been evaluated and is assessed on a workshop-by-workshop basis by both participants and trainers.
Resources: Several agencies covered the cost of setting up the program: the Embrace Life Council, Nunavut Arctic College (supported by the Department of Education), and the federal and territorial health departments. LivingWorks provided the initial training.
Province: Nunavut
Record Entry Date: 2015-03-01
Date modified: