ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

At a glance

Role: Intervention provider

Course length: 2 days

Key features:

  • Improves suicide alertness
  • Comprehensive
  • Interactive
  • Minimises risk and maximises safety
  • Examines barriers to seeking help
  • Practical and robust model of suicide intervention
  • Evidence based and scientifically proven
  • Recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Number of participants: Up to 30

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Training enquiries

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two day interactive workshop in suicide first aid and more. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don’t need any formal training to attend the workshop – anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model.

Since its initial development in 1983 by LivingWorks, ASIST has received regular updates to reflect improvements in knowledge and practice, and over 2,000,000 people worldwide have taken the workshop. Studies show that the ASIST method helps reduce suicidal feelings in those at risk and is a cost-effective way to help address the problem of suicide.

Since 2013, ASIST 11 is the most recent version. For those trained in ASIST 10 or earlier, signing up for an ASIST 11 training is recommended.

“Cutting edge, front-line, hands on, LIFE SAVING resource, made highly accessible and instantly applicable. The kind of training that keeps people alive.”

An ASIST participant

What is ASIST?

An accredited two day, interactive training that prepares caregivers to provide suicide first aid interventions.

Who can attend ASIST?

Anyone 16 or older (despite previous training) can learn and use the ASIST model. No previous mental health or suicide prevention experience is necessary.

What will you learn as an ASIST trained first aid caregiver?

After taking ASIST, you will be better able to:

  • Be suicide alert – identify people who have thoughts of suicide
  • Understand the reasons behind thoughts of suicide and the reasons for living
  • Assess risk and safety – develop a plan to increase the safety of the person at risk of suicide
  • Recognise invitations for help
  • Recognise potential barriers of seeking help
  • Offer support – recognise other important aspects of suicide prevention including life-promotion and self-care
  • Effectively apply a suicide intervention model
  • Link people with community resources

What are the workshop features?

  • Presentations and guidance from two LivingWorks registered trainers
  • A scientifically proven intervention model
  • Powerful audio-visual learning aids
  • Group discussions
  • Skills practice and development
  • A balance of challenge and safety
  • Participant materials include a 20-page workbook, wallet card, and stickers. Participants also receive a certificate upon completing the workshop.

What is the structure of an ASIST workshop?

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

Preparing: Sets the tone, norms, and expectations of the learning experience over the two days.

Connecting: Enables participants to reflect on their own attitudes towards suicide. This creates an understanding of the impact that attitudes can have on the intervention process.

Understanding: An overview of the intervention needs of a person at risk. The trainers focus on providing participants with the knowledge and skills to:

  • recognise risk
  • develop safeplans to reduce the risk of suicide
  • increase the safety of the person

Assisting: Presents a model for effective suicide intervention. Participants develop their skills through observation and supervised simulation exercises in large and small groups.

Networking: The trainers share information about resources in the local community and promote participant commitment to encouraging the transformation of local resources into helping networks.

Grassroots ASIST course feedback

Below are the average course evaluation scores taken from participants who attended our ASIST courses in 2018.

How would you rate ASIST?
(1 = did not like at all, 10 = liked a lot)


I would ask directly about suicide?
(1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree)


If someone told me he or she were thinking of suicide, I would do a suicide intervention?
(1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree)


I feel prepared to help a person at risk of suicide?
(1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree)


I feel confident I could help a person at risk of suicide? (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree)


Upcoming ASIST courses

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