ASIST workshops schedule for 15 Nunavut communities starting February

Workshops help people recognize and respond to those at risk of suicide


Two-day suicide intervention workshops will be held in 15 Nunavut communities starting February.

The ASIST — or Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training — workshops train people to respond to those at risk of suicide.

In 2013, 45 people died by suicide, the highest number of suicides in any one year since Nunavut’s creation in 1999.

“Just as ‘CPR’ skills make physical first aid possible, training in suicide intervention develops the skills used in suicide first aid,” reads a January ASIST information sheet.

Anyone is allowed to take the workshops, free of charge. The workshop takes two consecutive days, or 15 hours to complete.

Some trainers can instruct the class in Inuktitut or French, the information sheet said.

Otherwise simultaneous translation can be made available.

The 2014 schedule is as follows:

• Arctic Bay: Feb 4-5;
• Resolute Bay: Feb 6-7;
• Grise Fiord: Feb 10-11;
• Iqaluit: Feb 17-18;
• Clyde River: Feb 20-21;
• Kugluktuk: Feb 20-21;
• Pond Inlet: Mar 3-4;
• Igloolik: Mar 6-7;
• Cambridge Bay: Mar 6-7;
• Hall Beach: Mar 10-11;
• Pangnirtung: Mar 17-18;
• Qikiqtarjuaq: Mar 20-21;
• Iqaluit: April 7, 8, 9, 10;
• Sanikiluaq: April 15-16 (tentative); and
• Cape Dorset: April 28-29, 2014 (tentative).

“Workshop participants leave feeling willing, ready and able to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide,” read the info sheet.

The ASIST program says 1025 people have completed ASIST training in Nunavut since 2009. There are 17 local ASIST trainers in the territory.

These suicide intervention workshops are one of the eight “commitments” the Government of Nunavut made in its Suicide Prevention Strategy, which kicked into gear Sept. 2011.

For information on how to register for the training program, contact Isabelle Dingemans, ASIST coordinator at or call 867-979-7249.

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