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Sunday, December 4, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesVING Holds Suicide Prevention Training Workshop Available to the Community

VING Holds Suicide Prevention Training Workshop Available to the Community

The Virgin Islands National Guard Resilience, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention (R3SP) program recently conducted a workshop on suicide intervention to Army and Air Guard members.
The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) two-day workshop is a well-researched, well-developed and standardized process on becoming more competent, qualified and capable of recognizing and helping persons at risk of suicide.
“ASIST is an Army-approved suicide intervention/prevention program that is designed to help individuals become ‘more willing, ready and able to help persons at risk’,” said 2nd Lt. Valicia Burke-France, the Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Program Manager (R2SPPM).
ASIST workshops are beneficial to caregivers such as teachers, social and behavioral health workers, police officers, counselors, and other interested parties who are willing and passionate about learning to prevent suicide.
“ASIST is a two-day intensive, interactive and practice-dominated course designed to help caregivers recognize risk and learn how to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide,” Burke-France said. “It is for individuals who in their duties and responsibilities provide specific counseling to service members and civilians in need.”
Participation in the full two days of the 15-hour workshop is required. The workshop size typically ranges from 15-45 participants and is led by a minimum of two individuals that have attended the ASIST Training-for-Trainers five-day course.
In addition to the R2SPPM, there are three other qualified VING ASIST trainers: 1st Lt. (Chaplain) Dion Christopher on St. Croix, and Capt. Josephine Hector-Murphy and Warrant Officer Diane Wescott on St. Thomas.
Guard members who have already gone through the training are very positive about their experience. “I enjoyed the training, I learned a lot of new ways to counsel someone on suicide prevention,” said Tech. Sgt Keema Penn, operations management for 285th Civil Engineering Squadron.
“The trainers went a step further with the scenarios; this training has given me a better perspective on assisting someone who is suicidal.”
The sessions have been filled with positive feedback on the workshops. “The feedback from the training has been excellent with individuals feeling better prepared for identifying and assisting individuals in need,” Burke-France said.
“I believe that this is a way to improve community awareness about suicide, increase life promotion and preservation, and develop a wide network of individuals able to better identify signs of depression and assist persons in need of help and/or at risk of suicide.”
The ASIST two-day workshop is provided free of charge for members of the VING Community. The workshop is available to other community members for the cost of the ASIST participant kits which is less than $50 per person.
For more information on scheduling or attending an ASIST two-day workshop, contact 2nd Lt. Valicia Burke-France at 712-7790 or 244-4881 or e-mail: valicia.j.burke@us.army.mil. For more information on ASIST, visit http://www.livingworks.net.

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