By Andru McCracken

With two suicides in Valemount over the last six months, the Robson Valley Community Services (RVCS) has decided to put on a workshop to help people that may be in a position to intervene.

Donalda Beeson said that RVCS decided to offer suicide intervention training to 15 front line staff members and open up the rest of the spaces (about 15 more) to community members and partners.

“ASIST is an internationally recognized two-day practice-oriented training which builds skills and confidence in suicide intervention,” said Beeson.

ASIST stands for applied suicide intervention skills training and trainees are better able to identify people who have thoughts of suicide, be able to intervene with someone at risk for suicide, and develop a plan to increase safety from suicidal behavior.

“The Robson Valley has been hit hard by a string of completed suicides, and the fallout of those has impacted our community, agency, and staff. We would like to support our staff and community by giving them the tools to intervene, in turn giving them the confidence to respond to something that otherwise can leave a person feeling helpless and wondering if they did or said the right thing. In all we hope to reduce the impact of vicarious trauma placed on these staff, and support community partners and members who find themselves in the same predicament.”

The workshop is typically $250 per person but is being offered for the cost of the work book, $40; if that’s a barrier, that fee can be waived too.

“Our hope is to be able to have our team fully trained, and feel confident to respond and intervene when they inevitably receive disclosures of a suicidal nature both from the client directly and when the client is supporting someone they deem at risk,” she said.

The training happens on August 27-28. If you are interested, call (250) 566-9107.