SafeTALK: The Suicide Alertness Training That Saves Lives
In 2019, an estimated 3-4 people died by suicide every single day in Colorado – some 1,287 Coloradans in total. This number was the highest ever recorded in the state, according to the Colorado Health Institute. In 2021, nearly 50,000 Americans died by suicide – making it the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. (Source: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)
Statistics like these can make the problem of suicide feel overwhelming and full of despair. But through individual action and prevention education, you can help be a source of hope and light in a dark place for a loved one or stranger.
When a person experiences suicidal thoughts, it’s often not because they ultimately wish to die – but rather, they are seeking a way out of the pain in their life and can think of no other alternative. Through their words and actions, these individuals typically seek out help from others.
Unfortunately, these calls for help are not always heard or understood by others.
By taking an expert-led course like SafeTALK, you can be trained to be more alert to the signs of suicide and feel equipped on how to respond effectively and compassionately.
Take a look at these commonly asked questions to learn more about SafeTALK and why you should consider signing up for our next training.
What is SafeTALK training?
SafeTALK is a half-day (3-4 hours) training in suicide alertness for everyone. The course aims to help you recognize when a loved one or person is having thoughts of suicide, and how to connect them with resources to help them choose life. SafeTALK stresses safety while challenging taboos that inhibit open talk about suicide.
During the SafeTALK course, you will learn valuable intervention resources and tools to identify and avert suicide risks – such as:
- Noticing and responding to situations where suicide thoughts may be present
- Recognizing that invitations for help are often overlooked
- Moving beyond the common tendency to miss, dismiss, and avoid the topic of suicide
- Applying the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen, KeepSafe)
- Knowing where to find community resources (like health care professionals, first responders, or crisis line workers) and how to connect someone with thoughts of suicide to them for further suicide-safer help
SafeTALK is an acronym that stands for: Suicide Alertness For Everyone – Tell, Ask, Listen, KeepSafe.
Who should take SafeTALK training?
SafeTALK is open to the public, so anyone age 15 or older can take the course and learn the steps of being suicide alert. You don’t need any formal preparation to attend the training. The more people who can get trained in suicide alertness, the better equipped our community will be to save lives.
What’s the difference between SafeTALK and ASIST?
Mental Health Partners offers several trainings focused on suicide prevention, including SafeTalk and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). All of these trainings play an important role in helping us achieve our Zero Suicide goal. These courses complement each other by providing varying levels of depth and knowledge about how to help someone in crisis. In fact, many participants choose to take ASIST training after completing SafeTALK.
SafeTALK is a virtual (online), half-day alertness training in suicide intervention, whereas ASIST is an in-person two-day interactive and in-depth workshop in suicide first aid.
How much does SafeTALK training cost?
Our SafeTALK trainings cost $40 to help cover the cost of participant materials. However, since we want to ensure that cost is never a barrier to education, scholarships can be granted upon request to those who need them thanks to the generous philanthropic donations of community members.
If you would like to help others access mental health trainings at low or no cost, consider donating today.
How long is SafeTALK training?
SafeTALK is a half-day training, ranging from 3-4 hours.
Who provides SafeTALK trainings?
All MHP trainings are hosted by local experts with extensive professional experience in suicide prevention and intervention, mental health first aid, evidence-based clinical modalities, crisis de-escalation, trauma support, and general wellness. Meet our expert trainers.
Where can I take a SafeTALK training?
These trainings are offered throughout Colorado and nationally by various organizations. Here at Mental Health Partners, we offer virtual SafeTALK trainings regularly, with a special emphasis on resources available in Boulder and Broomfield counties.
Join us for our next SafeTALK training on Friday, March 17th from 1-5pm at the Ryan Wellness Center in Boulder!
Visit our Training page to see additional upcoming offerings and sign up.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or suicide ideation, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 – or text TALK to 38255. You can also visit our 24/7 Walk-In Crisis Center, located at 3180 Airport Road, Boulder CO, for in-person support.