ASIST in Suicide Prevention

Posted on: 07/03/2016


In 2011, when our community was at crisis point with a spate of youth suicides, we created a suicide prevention program that could be implemented in schools quickly. The program trained participants to recognise when someone was at risk of suicide and gave them the skills to intervene appropriately.

Now, thanks to you our wonderful donors, we have raised over $500,000 to keep the Living Works ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) program running and have trained over 5,000 parents, carers, teachers, medical professionals, students, friends and community.

A fresh approach to Suicide Prevention

While there is definitely increased community awareness - people are realising the importance of open communication and seeking help earlier. However, our job is not yet done.

What we have identified is children as young as eight, coming to school highly anxious and unable to identify let alone manage their emotions. Unable to cope with day to day issues, children are lashing out, yelling and crying.

At our very core is our belief that early intervention is paramount, and we know building resilience in our community is a priority. So we partnered with Headspace Casey/Cardinia to deliver resilience training for adults and one for children.

Resilience for Life is a four week program for anyone aged 18 and over. The program recognises the specific challenges we face in our day to day lives and assists in developing the skills of mindfulness and balanced thinking so that people are better able to navigate life’s challenges and manage emotions.

Friends for Life (8-11 year olds) My Friends - Youth (12-17 year olds) are 8 week workshops that fit into our My Friends program. My Friends gives children skills around recognising and preventing anxiety and increasing emotional resilience and problem solving abilities – all of which are important lifelong coping skills.

In the first four months of this year we have already trained over 110 people across these two programs. A further 12 workshops are scheduled over the coming few months, targeting more than 300 adults and students.

‘I was on the brink of suicide. The Resilience for Lfe workshop helped me re-address the way I thought about myself. It challenged my unhelpful thoughts and gave me new strategies to encourage a positive way forward. The road to recovery is a long one, but I am well on my way, thanks to Windermere.’

Interested in taking part? Contact Gen Dawson on (03) 5996 8710, email or visit