News: 143d ESC soldiers learn 'suicide first aid' through ASIST
Story by Sgt. John Carkeet IV
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - "Are you thinking about killing yourself?"
That question was asked time and time again as soldiers from the 143d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) immersed themselves in an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training course conducted Jan. 6-7 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Created by LivingWorks Education, ASIST has trained more than a million people worldwide on how to feel more comfortable, confident and competent in helping to prevent the immediate risk of suicide.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Miller, a chaplain assistant for the 371st Special Troops Battalion, an Army National Guard unit based out of Springfield, Ohio, and Maj. Jim Lewis, a chaplain with the 371st Sustainment Brigade, also based out of Springfield, led the two-day course that consisted of interactive lectures, dramatic videos, small group discussions and one-on-one role play scenarios. Miller and Lewis received formal training from LivingWorks Education to organize, manage and instruct the ASIST program.
Students learned how to use LivingWorks' research-driven methods to connect, understand and assist a person expressing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Miller and Lewis showed students how they may apply "suicide first aid" in numerous situations from conversing with a battle buddy in an office to talking to a stranger standing on a ledge.
Miller and Lewis hope the ASIST program will continue to grow at Camp Arifjan after they redeploy later this year.