CEU: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Jul 22, 2021

08:30 AM - 04:30 PM

North Hall, 332

20 Davenport Street, Iowa City, IA 52245

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Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

July 22-23, 2021

8:30 am – 4:30 pm both days

UI School of Social Work / 332 North Hall

Iowa City, IA

15 CEUs - $95



A boxed lunch will be included each day.


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants do NOT need formal training to attend the workshop—anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model. Ultimately, ASIST is founded on the principle that everyone can make a difference in preventing suicide. The more people in the community who have suicide intervention training, the more likely it is they will be able to identify someone at risk and intervene to keep them safe.

Since its development in 1983, ASIST has received regular updates to reflect improvements in knowledge and practice, and over 1,000,000 people have taken the workshop. Studies show that the ASIST method helps reduce suicidal feelings in those at risk and is a cost-effective way to help address the problem of suicide.


Learning objectives

Over the course of the two-day workshop, ASIST participants learn to:

  • Understand the ways that personal and societal attitudes affect views on suicide and interventions
  • Provide guidance and suicide first aid to a person at risk in ways that meet their individual safety needs
  • Identify the key elements of an effective suicide safety plan and the actions required to implement it
  • Appreciate the value of improving and integrating suicide prevention resources in the community at large
  • Recognize other important aspects of suicide prevention including life-promotion and self-care

Workshop features

  • Presentations and guidance from two LivingWorks registered trainers
  • A scientifically proven intervention model
  • Powerful audiovisual learning aids
  • Group discussions
  • Skills practice and development
  • A balance of challenge and safety

ASIST helps to build regional networks of trained caregivers who can support each and use common terminology to approach suicide and safety. Want to get involved with this award-winning program? Here's how:

Each ASIST workshop shares many core features that make up the LivingWorks international standard. Here is what you can expect at your ASIST training:

  • ASIST is held over two consecutive days for a total of 15 hours.
  • ASIST is based on principles of adult learning. It values participants’ experiences and contributions and encourages them to share actively in the learning process.
  • ASIST workshops always have a minimum of two active ASIST trainers present for the entire two days.
  • Trainers show two award-winning videos in the course of the workshop. Cause of Death? provides a common starting point for the discussion of attitudes about suicide, while It Begins with You illustrates the process of a suicide intervention.
  • Some parts of ASIST take place with all participants together, and others take place in a smaller work group. This helps create a balance between safety and challenge. Participants need not disclose personal experiences to the whole group.
  • Local resources are provided and their availability in the community is discussed.
  • Participant materials include a 20-page workbook, wallet card, and stickers. Participants also receive a certificate upon completing the workshop.

The ASIST workshop is divided into five sections that follow in a logical progression to gradually build comfort and understanding around suicide and suicide intervention. 

Preparing: Sets the tone, norms, and expectations of the learning experience.
Connecting: Sensitizes participants to their own attitudes towards suicide. Creates an understanding of the impact that attitudes can have on the intervention process.
Understanding: Overviews the intervention needs of a person at risk. It focuses on providing participants with the knowledge and skills to recognize risk and develop safeplans to reduce the risk of suicide.
Assisting: Presents a model for effective suicide intervention. Participants develop their skills through observation and supervised simulation experiences in large and small groups.
Networking: Generates information about resources in the local community. Promotes a commitment by participants to transform local resources into helping networks.



Sara Knox, LMSW, completed her MSW degree at the University of Iowa School of Social Work in 2017. She has volunteered and worked in crisis intervention at CommUnity Crisis Services and Foodbank (formerly The Crisis Center of Johnson County) for 10 years. She is a Master Trainer for ASIST, and has given conference presentations on suicide intervention for the International Association for Suicide Prevention, American Association of Suicidology and the National Association of Crisis Center Directors.

Keri Neblett, LMSW, is the Suicide Prevention Director at the Iowa Department of Public Health. Prior to this position, Keri worked as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UI School of Social Work and as the Director of Crisis Services at CommUnity Crisis Services and Foodbank (formerly the Crisis Center of Johnson County). She served as chair of the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition for 10 years and has presented on suicide and crisis services at state, regional, national, and international conferences.

Training materials for this workshop were generously donated by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at

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