Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Suicide in Australia

bullet In any given year in Australia 1 in 20 adult Australians will have thoughts about completing suicide.

bullet 50 Australians die by suicide each week-young people and adults of all ages

bullet In some states and territories, more people die by suicide each year than are killed in road accidents.

How can further deaths be prevented?

By having people in your organisation and the wider community ready, willing and able to provide suicide first aid. People who can help a person at risk stay safe and seek further help.


bullet most people considering suicide signal their distress and their intent
bullet training can help us see and respond appropriately to these invitations. It can give us the confidence to ask about suicide if we are concerned about someone's safety

ASIST is a two-day intensive, interactive and practice-dominated course designed to help caregivers recognize risk and learn how to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide.

ASIST has five learning sections:

  1. Preparing
    • sets the tone, norms, and expectations of the learning experience.
  2. Connecting
    • sensitises participants to their own attitudes towards suicide;
    • creates an understanding of the impact which attitudes have on the intervention process.
  3. 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 safeplans to reduce the risk of suicide.
  4. Assisting
    • presents a model for effective suicide intervention. Participants develop their skills through observation and supervised simulation experiences in large and small groups.
  5. Networking
    • generates information about resources in the local community;
    • promotes a commitment by participants to transform local resources into helping networks.

Who is it for?

The workshop is for all caregivers and any person in a position of trust and/or leadership . This includes professionals, paraprofessionals and lay people. It is suitable for mental health professionals, nurses, physicians, teachers, counsellors, youth workers, police and correctional staff, school support staff, clergy, and community volunteers.


As a result of participating in an ASIST workshop , you will learn how to:

  • recognise opportunities for helping;
  • reach out and offer support;
  • apply a model for suicide intervention;
  • keep a person who is thinking of suicide safe and link them to community resources.

ASIST is part of a comprehensive suicide prevention framework which Includes suicideTALK and safeTALK.