Nicholas L. M. Allen
Mar 22, 2023
Suicide intervention workshop to be hosted by Darcy's Nature Walk and the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.
Organizers for Darcy’s Nature Walk (DNW) for Mental Wellness and the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass are working together to bring the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop to the area on April 15 and 16.
The two-day workshop around suicide intervention skills “needs more people” to participate. They feel this workshop would be of great value to you or someone you know.
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) any given year, one in five Canadians experiences a mental illness. By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, one in two have, or have had, a mental illness. Because of this, Randi Rinaldi thinks there is a lot of room for improved outcomes for people experiencing poor mental health. She started by giving some back story to the group and what they aim to do.
“I am one of the organizers for Darcy’s Nature Walk for Mental Wellness and that’s an event that’s been going on for about 15 years annually. At the event we raise funds that go back into the community to help educate people about mental health,” explained Rinaldi.
The course is something they have offered twice before as part of the DNW event, something that stems from her own personal losses involving suicide.
“We lost my mom to suicide in 2007 and then later we lost my brother to suicide in 2013. So this course is near and dear to my heart,” added Rinaldi.
She said they did not have the confidence to ask her mother or brother about their struggles and she is hoping to help make people more aware of the risk signs surrounding suicide.
“Each year, one in six Albertans will seriously think about suicide. There are an average of 2400 hospital stays and more than six thousand emergency room visits for self-inflicted injuries, the result of suicide attempts, annually. More than four hundred Albertans will die by suicide each year,” according to the University of Alberta’s suicide awareness and prevention page.
The session is open to any adult in the community who is interested in learning more about mental health and intervention strategies to help someone at risk of suicide. They admit that suicide is a heavy topic but also a “real one.”
“It can happen to anyone you know whether it be a friend, family member, loved one, or someone who you just passed on the Street. Having the knowledge and awareness of what the signs are and exactly how to approach the situation, whether it be crisis mode or to just bring up the topic is a good starting point,” said Rinaldi.
There is a $25 charge to register but they are willing to waive this fee if finances are a barrier for those wishing to attend. The course typically costs between $200 and $350. This session will be heavily subsidized by Darcy’s Nature Walk and Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, but they are opening it up to anyone willing to join in the surrounding area.
“We really want to fill the seats. The more people that we can have educated in the community, the better it is,” said Rinaldi.
The workshop can have up to 30 participants and, after speaking with Rinaldi, there were only five. For anyone interested in attending this course you can email Kim Lewis to register at Kim.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For full info on this workshop, visit www.suicideinfo.ca.