Making a connection when it is needed the most
September 4, 2013
The Unit Ministry Teams of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade conducted Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training on Fort Campbell, KY Aug. 27 and 28.
"During ASIST we teach how to react as first responders for those at risk of suicide," said Staff Sgt. Ulysses Stewart, chaplain assistant for the brigade chaplain, 101st CAB. "This workshop gives you the skills to conduct a intervention with a suicidal individual and bring them to the next level of support."
The atmosphere during ASIST training is casual and everyone calls each other by their first name regardless of rank.
"We encourage civilian clothes and people to take off their rank," said Capt. Trish Lipke, Master Resiliency Trainer for the 101st CAB. "This is a safe environment and rank can intimidate."
On the first day of training participants share their beliefs and attitudes on suicide in a small group setting. During day two they learn how spot the signs of suicide and interact with an at risk individual through role play.
"As an NCO you are supposed to know your Soldiers and sadly enough sometimes we don't," said Sgt. Andrea Fifer, chaplain assistant for 2-17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st CAB. " This class teaches why you have to know your Soldiers, you have to know how to dig deeper."
The most important thing learned during the two days of training is how to make a personal connection to save a life.
"ASIST teaches and encourages Soldiers to personally interact with those who are having suicidal ideation." said Maj. Douglas Weaver, chaplain for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. "This is a life on life battle buddy who can provide help and hope to someone in need."