Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention

CONTACT INFORMATION: Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
703-559-3000 TTY 711
8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22031
Raymond Paden

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training logo

Learn the skills.

Help save a life.

Suicide is preventable.
Anyone can make a difference.

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board's Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention team is offering Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and how to help them create a plan to support their immediate safety. ASIST is for anyone ages 16 and older, and no prior training is necessary.

ASIST works. Studies show that ASIST participants gain:

  • Knowledge about suicide.
  • Skills to reach out.
  • Improved communication about suicide.
  • Confidence to help save a life.

ASIST changes lives. Odds of improvement after receiving an ASIST intervention (2013 study):

  • 35% more hopeful.
  • 31% less depressed.
  • 46% less overwhelmed.
  • 74% less suicidal.

Who should take ASIST?

ASIST is a resource for the whole community. It helps people apply suicide first aid in many settings – with family, friends, co-workers, and teammates, as well as formal caregiving roles. ASIST can be learned and used by anyone ages 16 and older.

How long does it take to complete ASIST?

ASIST is a two-day workshop. Participants must attend both days in full to receive a certificate.

What is the structure of the ASIST workshop?

ASIST is based on adult learning principles. Valuing participants’ contributions and experiences, it encourages them to take an active role in the learning process. ASIST’s key features include:

  • Small-group learning: To facilitate involvement, participants spend over half the workshop in a small group with one of the trainers.
  • Emphasis on individual needs: Participants learn to adapt to the specific circumstances of a person  with thoughts of suicide and work collaboratively to help them stay safe.
  • Perspective matters: Participants are encouraged to reflect on and share their own attitudes about suicide and suicide intervention. This helps them understand how their perspectives may affect their role in providing help to a person with thoughts of suicide.
  • Direct approach: By encouraging honest, open, and direct talk about suicide, ASIST helps prepare to discuss the topic with a person with thoughts of suicide.
  • Training focus: Some participants may have previous personal or professional experience with suicide or intervention. ASIST builds on these experiences to contribute to the overall learning goal - providing suicide first aid.
  • Reliable, proven model: Workshop activities are structured around the ASIST intervention model and provide applicable, hands-on skills practice.
  • Audiovisual aids: High-quality slides, diagrams and videos help participants understand and memorize concepts.

Check our CSB Events page to see available ASIST classes, or for more information about this program, contact Carrie Cannon703-538-3215.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant