Counseling Center receives grant for ASIST


gregg elliott

The Adams State University Counseling and Career Services Department recently received a $5000 grant award from the State Office of Suicide Prevention (OSP). The grant money will support suicide prevention activities in the San Luis Valley which are provided by Adams State and the San Luis Valley Mental Health Center.

Currently the two valley institutions provide Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) for the campus and community. According to Gregg Elliott, director of Counseling & Career Services, the grant funds will be used to continue the trainings, as well as to help the valley's three ASIST trainers to upgrade to the most up-to-date version of ASIST, which was introduced in June, 2013.

"Having people in the valley be trained in suicide intervention skills is critical, because the SLV as a region has one of the highest suicide rates in the entire state. This grant will greatly enhance our ability to continue to provide these trainings to the San Luis Valley community and to the Adams State campus at an affordable cost," Elliott said.

The 16 hour ASIST trainings are offered approximately every three months. Adams State and the SLV Mental Health Center also offer the 3 hour safeTALK training, which provides participants more basic skills in working with a person who is thinking about suicide.

Adams State and the SLV Mental Health Center donate trainer preparation and training time, facilities for training, and marketing/promotion materials to support the ongoing work of suicide prevention in the region.