Suicide prevention training available on campus

Ryan Thompson

The Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition will host an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop at Washburn University June 7 and 8.


ASIST is an internationally recognized program teaching participants to recognize when a person is at risk of suicide and how to intervene. The workshop will take place over two days and participants may attend both days to receive proper training.


According to LivingWorks, the organization behind ASIST, the goals of the training include learning how to understand personal and societal views on suicide, provide guidance and suicide first aid to those at risk, identify the key elements of a suicide safety plan and appreciate the value of improving suicide prevention resources in the community.


Anyone interested in participating should contact Crystal Leming, university counselor, at [email protected] to register, as seats are still available for the summer training event and a waiting list is open for another workshop in September. Registration is free and open to anyone 16 or older, as the event is fully funded by the Suicide Prevention Coalition.


Leming is coordinating with the Suicide Prevention Coalition to bring ASIST training to campus, believing it to be immediately relevant to students.


“As of the end of last year, suicide rates have been climbing in Shawnee County,” said Leming. “On campus, one in seven students has had serious thoughts of suicide, potentially an attempt or a plan, but at minimum some serious ideation. It’s a real issue for our student body.”


Leming also wants students to be aware of the services available to them.


“We’ve got medical staff and mental health staff right here in the clinic that are happy to talk with you,” said Leming. “Talking to someone about thoughts of suicide doesn’t automatically mean hospitalization or being forced to do things. It’s a discussion about your resources and what we can do to stay safe.”