Grant Application

Stacey Buettner, LCSW, UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Safe Harbor

Proposed Innovation

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. The number of people experiencing — and dying by — suicide is on the rise. But most suicides can be prevented with the right knowledge and skills.

Teaching more people how to intervene with individuals who have thoughts of suicide is the long-term goal of this project at UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Safe Harbor. Two senior Crisis Center staff members will complete the LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) program to learn how to become ASIST trainers.

Improvements in Action

Through this project, two staff members will attend the five-day ASIST training for trainers (T4T) program. They will spend the first two days learning how to carry out lifesaving interventions for people at risk of suicide. Over the next three days, they also will learn how to teach ASIST so they can train other UPMC staff and offer workshops in the community.

Intended Outcomes

After completing the T4T training, these new trainers will be able to teach participants including UPMC staff how to recognize and intervene when someone is contemplating suicide. The overall goal is to provide standardized and effective suicide intervention training so that more people in the community are willing, able, and ready to intervene when someone has suicidal thoughts.