FORT BENNING, Ga., (June 12, 2013) -- Fort Benning is offering Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training to those interested. It is an eight-hour, two-day workshop that trains people, especially caregivers, on how to deal with a person who is contemplating suicide.

"(The workshop) gives you the skills to be able to recognize those warning signs and risk factors and it gives you the confidence through role-play and working simulations to where you feel confident in asking those questions and engaging with that kind of person," said Denise Stephens, suicide program prevention manager for the Army Substance Abuse Program.

Sandy Rauhut, military spouse, attended the ASIST training in April. She said the training was an eye opener for her.

When it comes to Families, Rauhut said, the ASIST training was good for spouses who are the first responders and might be able to be the first to see signs of suicide.

But, she said, it's also important to talk about suicide and how it impacts Families.

"Don't be afraid to go to the chain of command or see a chaplain if a Soldier shows signs," she said.

People who know others who are showing signs of possibly committing suicide should take everything seriously, Rauhut said. And never hesitate to get help and follow through for that person.

"People who get to that point don't necessarily want to die," Stephens said. "They just don't know how to keep living in the hurt or the pain or the anger or the frustration -- or whatever it is that got them to that point."

Those who might be nervous about engaging with someone who is having suicidal thoughts should know that the workshop gives them the opportunity to practice and also additional tools and resources to help, Stephens said. Getting more people comfortable with dealing with suicide can possibly increase the number of lives saved.

For more information about ASIST or how to attend the workshop, contact Stephens at 706-545-5441.

Page last updated Thu June 13th, 2013 at 13:44