Evaluation of the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Programme (ASIST)

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Murphy, Karen
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BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Training of caregivers has been identified as a critical component in suicide intervention and prevention. Crises intervention training programmes such as the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) programme equip people to respond knowledgeably and competently to persons at risk of suicide. Participants learn and practice skills in identifying and responding to people at immediate risk of suicide. Reach Out - The National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention (2005) sets the agenda for the development and delivery of training and awareness programmes for communities, organisations and professionals involved in suicide prevention and intervention. The National Office for Suicide Prevention continues to coordinate delivery of the ASIST programme which has to date trained approximately 100 trainers and delivered 2-day workshops to over almost 5000 people around the country. Participants in ASIST include those working in the health services, voluntary agencies and community groups as well as those involved in child and family groups, drug and alcohol abuse groups, schools and in law enforcement / prison services. This current study evaluates the impact of ASIST training and assesses participants' ability, comfort and confidence in dealing with a suicidal person prior to and following training. The study also looks at participants' knowledge of suicidal behaviour and their attitude towards suicide before and after training.