Suicide prevention

Knowing what to say is hard for many people, but sometimes someone’s life might be on the line which is why the local HeartLine organizations hopes to offer training for people to “ASIST” in saving a life.

The United Way of Stephens County agency recently received a grant to provide Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) which will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 and 6 at the Duncan Chamber of Commerce.

Danielle Harris-Cummings, Programs Director for HeartLine, said the training is for anyone 16 years or older in Duncan or the surrounding areas.

“Suicide is preventable and the more people know about suicide the more confident they will be to save a life,” she said.

Harris-Cummings said since January, HeartLine has answered more than 44 Lifeline calls from Stephens County.

The ASIST training is free and seating is limited. Lunch will be provided and CEU’s are available for participating both days.

“ASIST is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first-aid,” a handout stated. “ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may be at risk of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don’t need any formal training to attend the workshop — ASIST can be learned and used by anyone.”

A 2013 study that monitored over 1,500 suicidal callers to a crisis lines found that callers who spoke with ASIST-trained counselors were 74% less likely to be suicidal after the call, compared to callers who spoke with counselors trained in methods other than ASIST.

For more information or to register for the ASIST training, please contact Felicia Wright, Crisis Intervention Manager, at 405-840-9396, ext. 101 or email Interested participants can also register online at

HeartLine connects Central Oklahomans to help, hope and information – 24 hours a day. The most widely used programs include: 2-1-1 information and referral line.

The Duncan Banner staff asks if you feel suicidal or have had suicidal thoughts please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for 24 hour support.

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