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Home > All island evaluation of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). Summary report.

Public Health Agency. (2011) All island evaluation of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). Summary report. Belfast: Public Health Agency.

PDF (ASIST 2011) - Published Version

Suicide is a significant public health concern on the island of Ireland. The rates of death by suicide in the Republic of Ireland are 17.9 per 100,000 for males and 3.8 per 100,000 for females.1 The rates for Northern Ireland (please note these rates include suicide and undetermined death) are 22.9 per 100,000 for males and 6.9 per 100,000 for females.2 *

ASIST has been delivered in Ireland since 2004; more than 20,000 people have completed the course in the Republic of Ireland and more than 11,000 have done so in Northern Ireland. This represents a significant proportion of the population. The investment made by the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP), Public Health Agency (PHA) and our partner agencies required that an evaluation be undertaken on the impact of the programme on the island of Ireland.

This is one of the most extensive evaluations ever undertaken in relation to the ASIST programme. It demonstrates that ASIST improves the skill levels and confidence of community gatekeepers in responding to people in a suicidal crisis. It also shows that participation in the programme significantly impacts on a person’s likelihood to engage with and support a person who may clearly be feeling suicidal. Both of these findings support the underlying value of ASIST.

This evaluation provides the NOSP and PHA with a strategic direction for the further implementation of ASIST and other related suicide prevention training programmes.

Since the completion of this evaluation, the NOSP has taken a number of steps to implement the recommendations, including:
• development of standards for training in suicide prevention;
• establishment of a national training database of participants who have completed the ASIST programme (this will allow the NOSP and its partners to monitor and target the delivery of the programme);
• implementation of other suicide prevention programmes that complement ASIST, particularly the safeTALK programme;
• integration of ASIST into undergraduate training and professional development programmes for staff responding to people in suicide prevention training;
• implementation of systems that allow for greater cost effectiveness in the continued national roll-out of suicide prevention training programmes;
• provision of further guidelines for coordinating sites delivering the ASIST programme on a regional basis.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Education and training
62 p.
Public Health Agency
Corporate Creators
Public Health Agency
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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