Each year in the United States, there are over 44,000 reported suicides. A conservative estimate indicates that 5-25% of people in the country consider suicide each year. With a population of about 323 million people, that would mean that there are at least 16 million people considering suicide each year.
The numbers are shocking. You may even be shaking your head as you read this. As disturbing as the statistics are, calculations can only motivate you to take action. They are unable to equip you with the skills needed to intervene.
Statistically speaking, you’ve probably been affected by suicide in some way. You may be thinking about people you know who have considered, attempted, or completed suicide. People who are near and dear to me have been affected by suicide. I have personally been impacted by suicide. I wanted to learn what to do to help before it was too late. May be you do, too.
Here’s what you can do to be a light in the darkness: attend a training workshop to become a suicide intervention caregiver so you can know what to do in that situation. Living Works, an organization that is by far the expert in suicide intervention with over 30 years of experience, offers several programs to aid, train, and equip you with skills to intervene in the life of a person at risk of suicide in order to keep them safe.
We have a “Life Team” at our church. I trained 8 people in a two-day ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) workshop. Within a week one participant had already intervened and saved a life at the church! I encourage more people and churches to receive the training because saving lives is possible. Keeping them safe is the only way to get them help in other areas.
You can look for local trainings or host a training. The cost varies by trainer. Your actions can help save a life and change the direction of the lives of countless people who would have been affected. I have personally intervened in people’s lives as they were considering suicide. I have trained dozens of caregivers to gain and use suicide first-aid skills. Please give serious consideration to participating in a workshop. Your efforts will help make our communities safer from suicide.
*Please note: I am an Army chaplain, pastor, and certified trainer in suicide intervention skills with Living Works. I do not receive any compensation from Living Works for sharing this information or for conducting training. I perform intervention training as a part of my official duties in the Army. When I offer the workshops in civilian contexts, the only charge incurred is the cost of materials. I make no profit for my labor, time, travel, lodging, or per diem from civilian organizations. All ASIST trainers have the option to charge as they see fit, and this is how I have chosen to use my skills and advocate for suicide safer communities.*