St George workshop to support people at risk of suicide

A free two-day workshop will be held in St George next month to give participants the skills to identify and support someone thinking of harming themselves.

The South West Hospital and Health Service has partnered with LivingWorks Australia to deliver the two day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop at St George on 22–23 February.

South West HHS Regional Adversity Coordinator Gavin Johannesen said the workshop would show people how to identify and support a person contemplating self-harm of any kind, as well as how to link them with further professional support.

“We have held similar workshops in Roma and these have proved very popular, so we are also offering one in St George. The ASIST workshop is designed for anyone in the community who is interested in becoming suicide alert and wants to be part of a suicide-safer community.’’

Mr Johannesen says many people don’t know what to say to a person with suicidal thoughts.

“Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they are inviting help to stay alive.”

“We will educate the public to recognise these situations and take action by connecting with lifesaving intervention resources, including psychologists and mental health workers and services.’’

Mr Johannesen says more than 80,000 people already had attended ASIST workshops in Australia and studies had shown the methods taught helped reduce suicidal feelings and could help save a life.

“I would urge any interested community member, local government employees, emergency services personnel, business owners and operators interested in becoming suicide alert and part of a suicide safer community to attend.’’

“Out of every suicide, we know that up to 80 people can be affected through the death which could have been prevented.”

The free workshop includes lunch, morning tea and coffee, a wallet card and certificate.

The ASIST workshop will be held at St George on 22–23 February from 8.45 am to 4.30 pm at Care Balonne, 84–86 Victoria St.

Anyone interested in attending the St George workshop can contact Gavin Johannesen on 4624 2977. • You can also register