Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) in Nunavik

ASIST trainers and trainees
Three certified ASIST trainers delivered the program to Kuujjuamiut (Suzy Kauki, Eva Lapage, Valerie Lock)

Kuujjuaq, Québec, December 8, 2014 – The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS) has implemented the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) in Nunavik. In 2010, a regional process, Ilisiliriniqmi Pigutjiutini Qimirruniq (clinical project), was set up and aimed at formulating recommendations concerning the regional priorities established by the partners of the Nunavik health and social services network. The NRBHSS approved all the recommendations proposed by the regional suicide-prevention working committee. More precisely, the need to enhance the capacity of the communities to prevent suicide was one of the major recommendations retained. Priority was therefore placed on the need to further develop intervention skills at the local level, through the ASIST workshops.

“In the near future, we would like more and more Nunavummiut to be made aware of the ASIST program and undertake the training. We hope to create momentum and encourage communities, stakeholders and organizations to ask for the ASIST training,” explained Minnie Grey, Executive Director of the NRBHSS.

A total of six Inuit trainers, Charlie Nowkawalk, Lolly Annahatak, Martha Inukpuk, Eva Lapage, Suzy Kauki Watt and Valerie Lock, are trained to deliver suicide-intervention workshops in our communities. They are accredited by Living Works, a recognized training institute in that field.

asistASIST is for all caregivers who want to feel more comfortable, confident and competent in recognizing the risk of suicide and in dealing effectively with the person at risk of committing suicide. It is an interactive workshop where participants learn to develop their toolkit to prevent suicide. The emphasis of the ASIST workshop is on suicide first aid; it guides the participants in helping a person at risk to stay safe and to seek further help.

Participants learn how to:

  • Recognize messages or requests for help;
  • Reach out and offer support;
  • Review the risk of suicide;
  • Apply a suicide-intervention model;
  • Link people with community resources.

You can help prevent suicide in Nunavik and make a difference by taking the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. If you would like to organize a workshop in your community, or if you want more information, please contact:

Suzy Kauki, ASIST trainer, at (819) 964-2222, ext. 275, or toll free at 1-844-964-2244, or by e-mail at

The NRBHSS is a public agency created in 1978 under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. It is responsible for nearly the entire territory located north of the 55th parallel in terms of the provision of health and social services for the inhabitants of the 14 communities.


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Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services
Planning and Programming Department

For information:
Dawn Forrest, Communications Officer, NRBHSS, (819) 964-2222, extension 251

Read the news release


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