Tribes to hold workshops on suicide prevention
The Cowichan Tribes are poised to offer suicide recognition programs to staff at its health centre, who’ve responded to at least 52 suicide alert calls between January and May this year.
The associate director at the Ts’ewulhtun Health Centre, Jennifer Jones, said she's working directly with Health Canada to come up with practical solutions to the crisis.
“We’re working with Vancouver Island Health Authority to provide the ASIST training program, which stands for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. It’s a two-day course,” she explained. “The ASIST is the gold standard in suicide first aid training and it used by health organizations worldwide.”
She said with the help of Health Canada, they’re also planning to hire another two counsellors as well as a cultural advisor at the Health Centre.
When the Tribes' called a state of emergency a few weeks ago, Jones said the eight counsellors currently working at the centre were in danger of burning out because of the caseload.
Jones was hoping to hold the ASIST session during the last week of May and also offer shorter workshops to Cowichan Tribes’ employees working in offices outside the Ts’ewulhtun Health Centre.
Of the 52 alert calls this year, four ended in suicide.
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