Suicide Prevention

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

In 2011 NMSU was awarded a three year federal grant (SAMHSA) to provide campus wide suicide prevention training. There are three levels training with the most thorough being ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). ASIST is a two day training (15 hours) and listed in the Best Practice Registry. The ASIST model can be learned and used by both professionals and non-professionals. ASIST is considered a “gatekeeper training”. Gatekeepers such as teachers, peers, mentors, leaders, administrators etc, are people who have primary contact with those at risk for suicide. Surveys have shown that a suicidal person is much more likely to initially share these thoughts and feelings with a non-professional such as a friend, professor, and mentor etc., rather than a professional. Gatekeeper trainings are designed to better prepare the “Gatekeeper” to identify signs and symptoms of suicide and intervene in a manner that makes it most likely that the person at risk for suicide will agree to professional help.

The ASIST training begins with an exploration of our own attitudes and beliefs about suicide and ways in which these attitudes and beliefs may both help and hinder intervening with a person at risk for suicide. The second piece of the training is to learn and practice the intervention model through didactic instruction, video’s and role plays. Much of the training is done in small groups.

This training is ideal for both professionals and non-professionals. Each participant will receive a certificate awarding 15 hours. Most professional licensing boards will accept these hours as CEU’s and many student groups on campus will accept these hours as service learning hours.

Since the inception of this grant 210 student, staff and faculty have completed ASIST training making NMSU a suicide safer community. Click here to register and someone will contact you with the details of the next training. For any questions contact Debra Darmata via email or at 646-5673. For more information about ASIST and other LivingWorks trainings, visit the LivingWorks website.

Warnings signs

The following are signs of someone who could be considering suicide:

  • Recent significant loss or change.
  • Feeling hopeless or trapped.
  • Feeling unbearable pain.
  • Feeling like a burden to others.
  • Increased use of alcohol and/or other drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated.
  • Reckless behavior.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves.
  • Looking for ways to complete suicide.
  • Withdrawing or isolating from others.

If you see these signs or others in yourself or another, there is help.