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Learn these skills, save a life

Plumas Rural Services is hosting a free two-day workshop at the Portola Station Baptist Church on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 22 and 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The ASIST, or Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training workshop, puts a focus on giving members of the local community tools and resources needed to become a certified suicide interventionist.

The free training is a part of a three-year federal grant from SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Act.

Plumas Rural Services Community Training Manager Dana Nowling explains that the ASIST training is a follow up to the Safe TALK certification also offered by PRS.

The workshop will provide attendees with practical skill-building opportunities, with the practice of holding space and active listening. “We also want to be able to help our listeners build confidence, so that they can help someone to help themselves,” Nowling said.

Another important practical skill on offer is the creation of a safety plan. “Each step of the model is interactive,” Nowling said. “Co-trainer Ryan Nielsen and I will be taking turns through this training, acting out roles, and helping attendees to get real practice.”

“We are trying to make this a community response to suicide, where we are all a part of the solution,” Nowling explained. “This is an issue that we all come into contact with.”

Nowling expressed her wish for members of the community to attend the training and become empowered.

“This workshop is for anyone in the community who connects with anyone on any level, not just mental health professionals. Quite honestly, you as a member of the community are more likely to be reached out to than a therapist,” Nowling said.

The workshop offers a certification to those who complete the training, and those who wish to serve the community further may be added to a list of ASIST certified listeners as a resource.

This workshop also meets standards for 12 Continuing Education Units, or CEUs, at a charge of $5 per unit for students.

Nowling asks that interested parties register online by Friday, Jan. 17, at www.plumasruralservices.org/asist. Lunch and refreshments are provided, and for further information, contact Tammy Masters at 283-2735, ext. 882, or email [email protected].

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