I found my experience with the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) model deeply empowering. As I entered into our time of learning ASIST, I felt overwhelmed and unsure of where and how to begin helping a person in crisis. When our training was at an end, I felt that I could help anyone, anywhere, anytime to find hope and connection and light in life, even in the darkest of times.
In my training experience, the power of the ASIST model comes from the supportive nature it builds itself upon. As helpers, we create a safe and supportive space for someone in crisis to tell their stories and to exhaust reasons for dying, so that within those stories, we can find reason(s) for life. As humans, with our deep desires to connect and understand one another, the ASIST model feels intuitive. If we can open ourselves to connection and to the stories and experiences of another, we can help each other to hold onto life and the light within, as well.
With ASIST in my toolbox, I feel so much more competent and confident in my ability to help those we hope to serve in our grant work. Knowing that so much of the work we will do depends on sharing stories, building connections and helping others to find the light in their lives, I feel hopeful and enthusiastic.
ASIST has given me the perspective and understanding I need to ensure that the voices of these older adults are heard and that their stories are explored. I look forward to building connections and hope, and to creating a suicide-safer community through the work we will do together.
Week One HOPE Lab Blog Post