Dover AFB personnel complete new suicide prevention training

  • Published
  • By Craig Gilbert
  • 436th Airlift Wing Violence Prevention integrator and Suicide Prevention program manager
In March 2021, Dover Air Force Base’s Violence Prevention office and chapel team combined forces in support of a suicide prevention effort.

Thirty base personnel comprised of wing first sergeants, helping agency leaders, key supervisors, representative from the Air Force Medical Examiner System and Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, engaged in an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop. Ten of the ASIST trained individuals also completed Suicide Alertness for Everyone Talk, Ask, Listen and Keepsafe (safeTALK) Training for Trainers workshop to become safeTALK trainers.

ASIST and safeTALK are evidenced-based suicide prevention programs developed by a civilian company and seek to move beyond suicide prevention awareness to alertness and direct intervention.

safeTALK is a three-hour training designed to prepare attendees to identify people with suicidal thoughts and connect them to suicide first-aid caregivers. The training recognizes most people with suicidal thoughts often “invite” help to stay safe. Personnel are trained on how to identify and work with these invitations in order to protect the individual’s life. This training also compliments ASIST by ensuring people with suicidal thoughts are identified and linked to caregivers such as ASIST-trained interventionists or professional helping agencies. ASIST is a two-day workshop that prepares attendees to render suicide first-aid interventions and get the person with suicidal thoughts to the next level of care. Caregivers help to complete the process that safeTALK-trained helpers initiate, thus providing suicide intervention first aid.

The target audience for safeTALK training on Dover Air Force Base is frontline supervisors, mid-level supervisors, Airmen dorm leaders and key spouses. However, training is open to all base personnel including civilian employees and spouses. Training is currently being scheduled for in-squadron classes and will be available for sign up soon. Each training can accommodate up to 40 attendees, depending on the number of safeTALK trainers available.

For more information, or to schedule squadron classes contact the Violence Prevention office at 677-3275 or email, or contact the chapel at 677-3932, or email