Team Rubicon Norway member Frank joined TR colleagues from several countries to participate in our first ASIST training course recently. Here he writes about his experience.
I am truly humbled, and proud. During my attendance to the Team Rubicon Global Leadership Summit 2017 in Chilmark UK, I was offered to participate in ASIST training. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. Before the workshop I was a little in doubt if this was applicable in Norway. After the first hour I was no longer in doubt. Two fantastic instructors made sure of that.
There is a bit of theory of course, but very soon the workshop goes into practical training. Dealing with such a subject is quite emotional, especially if you have experience of suicide in your social network. I have unfortunately experienced this.
The training was straight to the point. You are not preventing someone to commit suicide, you are actually stopping someone who have plans to do it, or are in the act of physically doing it. The key word being: Safe For Now! Intervention must be done before you can get people into the safe zone, and life.
Facebook is a good meeting point, sadly it is also a bad replacement for a social life for those veterans and others who struggle to keep alive. Because it is truly a struggle. Within the last year, I have had a few messages about veterans who have chosen to end their life at their own hands.
Sometimes there is nothing we can do, because not all gives any warning. This I know from personal experience. More often there are many signs. Withdrawal, drastic change in behavior, giving away or selling personal effects, closure of unfinished business, loss of appetite, loss of interest in activities that have always been important. The signs can be many, and vary from person to person.
By doing ASIST it makes you grow more attentive towards the signals. Most importantly, it gives you confidence to ask the question that breaks all social convention, is very intrusive and it may give you answers you don’t want to hear. The question is: Are you thinking of ending your own life now?
It’s just as simple as that, yet so hard. Because the person in front of you could be someone you love and hold dear.
ASIST training is something I would highly recommend to every member of Team Rubicon, yet it is not for everyone. By taking ASIST you will be part of a network, and people may refer to you for help and advice.
If you are in doubt, I will tell you this training will save life! Many suicide attempts are screams for help, and just having someone seeing them, will stop a person from fullfilling the point of no return.
Thanks to Frank for allowing us to share his blog post.