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Team Rubicon Norway’s Frank joins ASIST Training at Chilmark

Team Rubicon Norway member Frank joined TR colleagues from several countries to participate in our first ASIST training course recently. Here he writes about his experience.

Frank joined Greyshirts from UK, Denmark, Norway, Canada, and the US to participate in ASIST training at TRUK headquarters

I am truly humbled, and proud. During my attendance to the Team Rubicon Global Leadership Summit 2017 in Chilmark UK, I was offered to participate in ASIST training. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. Before the workshop I was a little in doubt if this was applicable in Norway. After the first hour I was no longer in doubt. Two fantastic instructors made sure of that.

There is a bit of theory of course, but very soon the workshop goes into practical training. Dealing with such a subject is quite emotional, especially if you have experience of suicide in your social network. I have unfortunately experienced this.

The training was straight to the point. You are not preventing someone to commit suicide, you are actually stopping someone who have plans to do it, or are in the act of physically doing it. The key word being: Safe For Now! Intervention must be done before you can get people into the safe zone, and life.

Facebook is a good meeting point, sadly it is also a bad replacement for a social life for those veterans and others who struggle to keep alive. Because it is truly a struggle. Within the last year, I have had a few messages about veterans who have chosen to end their life at their own hands.

Sometimes there is nothing we can do, because not all gives any warning. This I know from personal experience. More often there are many signs. Withdrawal, drastic change in behavior, giving away or selling personal effects, closure of unfinished business, loss of appetite, loss of interest in activities that have always been important. The signs can be many, and vary from person to person.

By doing ASIST it makes you grow more attentive towards the signals. Most importantly, it gives you confidence to ask the question that breaks all social convention, is very intrusive and it may give you answers you don’t want to hear. The question is: Are you thinking of ending your own life now?

It’s just as simple as that, yet so hard. Because the person in front of you could be someone you love and hold dear.

ASIST training is something I would highly recommend to every member of Team Rubicon, yet it is not for everyone. By taking ASIST you will be part of a network, and people may refer to you for help and advice.

If you are in doubt, I will tell you this training will save life! Many suicide attempts are screams for help, and just having someone seeing them, will stop a person from fullfilling the point of no return.

Thank you!

Thanks to Frank for allowing us to share his blog post.

One Response to “Team Rubicon Norway’s Frank joins ASIST Training at Chilmark”

  1. Coogee

    Well said Frank! It was a great course, we all learnt a lot and it will definitely come in useful (though hopefully not too often.)
    A huge thank you to Bobbi and Klebe for guiding us through with their quality teaching. They made the days fun (despite the subject matter) and enjoyable.
    It was lovely to meet up with so many different folk, particularly our American partners from across the pond, and what a pleasure to meet one the ‘Daddys’ of TR, Will Macnulty. Hats off to you Will for everything you’ve done and continue to do.
    Like a lot of people, I’ve had personal experience of suicide. I’ve dragged one or two people out of the hole they were in, in the past and it feels great to have helped someone out. Others unfortunately, I just couldn’t reach and they are no longer with us. I was always afraid that I might say the wrong thing and make the situation worse, so I never brought up the S word with those people. Maybe I should have done? I don’t know. As Klebe and Bobbi said, there’s nothing wrong with asking someone directly, “Are you thinking of taking your own life, are you thinking of suicide?” That may be the question that opens up the door to get them to start talking, and begin dialogue whereby we can help that person heal. If nothing else we could keep them “Safe for now!” I’ll always remember that. The ASIST course was, for me, true to life. Heck, during role play we were even ‘allowed’ to ask the person if they had considered how they would go about suicide.
    I don’t suppose there are that many people who haven’t been touched in some way by the S word. What I do know is that I feel much more prepared now, to help someone out, and that’s all thanks to ASIST. I’d recommend it unreservedly.
    So to finish, without meaning to be as flippant as it sounds because it is a serious subject, if anyone asked me if I had considered how I would go about leaving this mortal coil, I’d tell them that I’d probably challenge Frank to a cage fight…and lose big time!


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