ASIST is a two-day, two-trainer, workshop designed for members of all caregiving groups. Family, friends, and other community members may be the first to talk with a person at risk, but have little or no training. ASIST can also provide those in formal helping roles with professional development to ensure that they are prepared to provide suicide first aid help as part of the care they provide.
The emphasis is on teaching suicide first-aid to help a person at risk stay safe and seek further help as needed. Participants learn to use a suicide intervention model to identify persons with thoughts of suicide, seek a shared understanding of reasons for dying and living, develop a safeplan based upon a review of risk, be prepared to do follow-up, and become involved in suicide-safer community networks. The learning process is based on adult learning principles and highly participatory. Graduated skills development occurs through mini-lectures, facilitated discussions, group simulations, and role plays.