CMHA offers suicide prevention training

Courtenay is shaping up to be the unofficial suicide prevention capital of the mid-island, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association Mid-Island.

The association has delivered a number of half-day, safeTALK suicide prevention trainings in the Comox Valley. Another session is being offered Tuesday, Jan 23 in Courtenay. There is also a two-day ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) coming up early February.

Regardless of prior experience or training, safeTALK workshops educate people about how to help a person who is having thoughts of suicide. Participants learn to:

• Identify people who may have thoughts of suicide;

• Ask them directly about the possibility of suicide, then;

• Connect them to life-saving community supports and resources.

The Jan. 23 session runs from 1-4:30 p.m. at 201-1025 Cliffe Ave. Cost is $35, plus tax. Participants are welcome to bring lunch and/or snacks. Coffee and tea will be provided. Register at mid-island.cmha.bc.ca/education

The ASIST session is an interactive course designed to help people become more ready, willing and able to recognize when someone is considering suicide.

It also prepares participants to review risk, intervene, and support the individual in keeping safe for the time being. Participants will learn to:

• Recognize people at risk of suicide;

• Talk to them, hear their stories and understand their situations;

• Help them keep safe and develop an effective personal safety plan;

• Connect them to lifesaving community supports and resources.

The ASIST workshop runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 8 and 9 at the Comox Valley Transition Society at 625 England Ave. in Courtenay. Cost is $160, plus tax.

Register at mid-island.cmha.bc.ca/education, call 250-618-7450 or email info.midisland@cmha.bc.ca

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