Thursday, May 8, 2008

all that emotional touchy feely stuff.

Today was the first day of my two day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) class. Basically, it's a $250 course so I can get the five letters that will let me get the job I eventually want (working in Mobile Crisis). I had a hard time sitting still long enough today. The course is 9-4 and even though there are lots of breaks, I found it hard. By the end I was swinging my legs and rocking back and forth. I did apologize to the facilitator because by the end I was feeling pretty rude. Bah. sitting.

Anyway, the course itself isn't as bad as I thought it would be, and I tried to go into it with an open mind. It's a little too personal for me though, and a friend of my father's is in it which is just really awkward. I don't quite feel like I can talk about my experiences or the experiences of my family as freely when he's in the room. But that's okay.

There really hasn't been a lot of new information, although I really like the way they write the model out. Tomorrow we get deeper into it as well, and so hopefully there will be some new content. It basically follows the six step crisis intervention model I use, with a couple variations which make it specific to suicide.

Something I really liked about the last suicide prevention workshop I did was their emphasis on how normal suicidal thoughts are, and how so many people have suicidal thoughts over the life time. This course really seems to focus on suicidal thoughts as a bad thing, when I do believe they can be a coping mechanism to get people through hard times. Sometimes knowing there's that way out is enough to keep someone going. Further, this course refuses to acknowledge the fact that there are some people who are going to die by suicide no matter what we do to intervene. And by we, I mean "systems" in general, not just "me" as a person. The other workshop was really good about that and I think it takes SO much of the pressure of the helper; whoever they may be.

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