Bright Spot: Applied Suicide Prevention Skills (ASIST)

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This bright spot was originally published in the 100 Million Healthier Lives Change Library and is brought to you through partnership with 100 Million Healthier Lives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.


Detailed Description

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is for everyone 16 years or older-regardless of prior experience-who wants to be able to provide suicide first aid. Shown by major studies to significantly reduce suicidality, the ASIST model teaches effective intervention skills while helping to build suicide prevention networks in the community.

Expected Outcomes

Reduction of suicide

Cost Details

The cost of attending an ASIST workshop varies by location for a number of reasons. For example, some organizations may subsidize workshop costs. You will be able to see these costs when you find a local training and register. For organizations, the cost of the training location must also be considered. The small financial return to LivingWorks offsets development costs, participant materials, trainer support, and quality assurance. As a social enterprise, we finance all of these costs without subsidies, government grants, or tax benefits.

Key Steps for Implementation

To organize an ASIST workshop in your area: click here.

  • Read about what's involved Contact LivingWorks
  • LivingWorks puts you in touch with a trainer in your area
  • People in your area register for the training
  • Organizer assists LivingWorks with the training coordination
  • Participants attend and get trained at the ASIST workshop

Workshop features:

  • Presentations and guidance from two LivingWorks registered trainers
  • A scientifically proven intervention model
  • Powerful audiovisual learning aids
  • Group discussions
  • Skills practice and development
  • A balance of challenge and safety

Required Staffing (FTEs)

Variable depending upon the organization


Each ASIST workshop shares many core features that make up the LivingWorks international standard. Here is what you can expect at your ASIST training: ASIST is held over two consecutive days for a total of 15 hours. ASIST is based on principles of adult learning. It values participants; experiences and contributions and encourages them to share actively in the learning process. ASIST workshops always have a minimum of two active ASIST trainers present for the entire two days. If there are more than 30 participants, there will be at least three trainers. Workshops over 45 participants are not recommended and should be split into two separate sessions instead. Trainers show two award-winning videos in the course of the workshop. "Cause of Death?" provides a common starting point for the discussion of attitudes about suicide, while two versions of "It Begins with You" illustrate the process of a suicide intervention. Some parts of ASIST take place with all participants together, and others take place in a smaller work group. This helps create a balance between safety and challenge. Participants need not disclose personal experiences to the whole group. Local resources are provided and their availability in the community is discussed. Participant materials include a 20-page workbook, wallet card, and stickers. Participants also receive a certificate upon completing the workshop.

Types of Staff

ASIST-Trained Caregiver

Return on Investment Details

Please contact ASIST for further information

Outcome Measures

Attendees will attain the knowledge and skill set to aid in suicide prevention

Process Measures

The ASIST workshop is divided into five sections that follow in a logical progression to gradually build comfort and understanding around suicide and suicide intervention.

  • Preparing: Sets the tone, norms, and expectations of the learning experience.
  • Connecting: Sensitizes participants to their own attitudes towards suicide. Creates an understanding of the impact that attitudes can have on the intervention process.
  • Understanding: Overviews the intervention needs of a person at risk. It focuses on providing participants with the knowledge and skills to recognize risk and develop safe plans to reduce the risk of suicide.
  • Assisting: Presents a model for effective suicide intervention. Participants develop their skills through observation and supervised simulation experiences in large and small groups.
  • Networking: Generates information about resources in the local community. Promotes a commitment by participants to transform local resources into helping networks.

 Related Topics

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Young and Emerging Adults

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Mental and Behavioral Health