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safeTALK is intended as "suicide alertness" training. safeTALK teaches you to recognise persons with thoughts of suicide and to connect them to suicide intervention resources. It is designed for communities or organisations that already have ASIST trained helpers in place to maximise intervention as the main suicide prevention focus.

safeTALK is based on certain fundamental assumptions about suicide.

  • suicide is a community-wide health problem
  • suicide is not mental illness
  • thoughts of suicide are understandable, complex and personal
  • suicide can be prevented
  • most people with thoughts of suicide want to live
  • most people with thoughts of suicide indicate, directly or indirectly, that they want help to live
  • help-seeking is encouraged by open, direct and honest talk about suicide
  • the best way to identify people with thoughts of suicide is to ask them directly about their thoughts
  • relationships are the context of suicide intervention
  • intervention should be the main suicide prevention focus
  • cooperation is the essence of intervention
  • intervention skills are known and can be learned
  • large numbers of people can be taught intervention skills
  • evidence of effectiveness should be broadly defined.

safeTALK is a half-day session. It is taught by one trainer with groups of up to 30 participants. It complements ASIST and other intervention training courses. Participants learn how to provide practical help to persons with thoughts of suicide. safeTALK prepares participants to activate a suicide alert by following the TALK (Tell, Ask, Listen and KeepSafe) steps.

An alert helper:

  • is aware that opportunities to help a person with thoughts of suicide are sometimes missed, dismissed and avoided
  • wants persons with thoughts of suicide to invite them to help
  • recognises when a person might be having thoughts of suicide
  • engages a person with thoughts in direct and open talk about suicide
  • listens to the person's talk about suicide to show that they take the thoughts seriously
  • knows the name and contact information of local suicide intervention resources
  • moves quickly to connect the person with thoughts to someone trained in suicide intervention.

The 2007 evaluation of safeTALK showed participants felt more likely to recognise the signs of someone at risk, to approach the person, ask them directly whether they were having thoughts of suicide and be able to connect them to help.

Find a safeTALK workshop

safeTALK is delivered locally by a network of safeTALK trainers. Find a safeTALK workshop near you using the search function on the front page.

If you want training to be able to deliver safeTALK workshops

If you have attended ASIST and would like to become a safeTALK Trainer please visit the safeTALK Training for Trainers area.

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