SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, also known as SPAM. It is a time for raising awareness about the subject of suicide as well as normalizing conversations about how to prevent it and get help. There are lots of resources available for those living in Chatham County who would like to learn more about suicide prevention.

One such resource is the training available with the Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council. Program Director Vira Salzburn spoke with WSAV NOW about the training programs and workshops available to the public for free.

“One of the training programs that we offer in suicide intervention is called ASIST- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, and it’s completely free in our community,” Salzburn said. “In other places, people pay hundreds of dollars to take this training.”

This is important because it means that the training is accessible to all community members who are interested, regardless of socioeconomic status.

“Thankfully, we have funding from the county and we also, as a nonprofit organization, continually apply for other funding sources,” Salzburn explained.

The ASIST training is a two-day workshop that is focused on suicide first aid. On the first day, you learn about attitudes towards suicide and begin to explore the intervention model PAL- Pathway to Assisting Life. Then, you learn how to recognize what Salzburn called “invitations”, also called “warning signs.”

“A person is inviting you to notice they suffering and that may be in direct or indirect ways,” Salzburn said.

From there, you will learn what the next steps are if you notice someone has started to show these signs that they might be considering suicide.

You can learn more about the ASIST training and how to register by clicking or tapping on the link here.

The ASIST training isn’t all that is offered by the Safety Net Planning Council. They also do a 90-minute awareness workshop called “SuicideTALK.” This talk gives listeners the opportunity to learn how to examine their attitudes towards suicide. It also gives them the resources to help their community become a more supportive, safer place.

“It helps youth and adults whenever we do it, to learn how to again, notice the signs that someone may be having thought to suicide, how to ask them that question if they’re thinking about it, how to be a good listener and keep them safe and connect them to help,” she explained.

If you would like to have this workshop presented at your organization you can get more information through the link here.