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AFSP to offer suicide prevention training May 26

american foundation for suicide preventionThe American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will deliver two presentations of “Talk Saves Lives,” on Thursday, May 26. The community-based one-hour presentation covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide. Both trainings are being held as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.

AFSP Regional Director Ryan Newcomb will teach attendees the risk and warning signs of suicide, and how together, we can prevent it.

The 3:30 p.m. presentation will be part of a Suicide Prevention Round Table that brings together professionals and community members working together to put an end to suicide.

The 6 p.m. presentation will be part of the 2016 Greater Augusta Out of the Darkness Walk Kickoff.

Both presentations will be held in the community room at the Panera Bread in Waynesboro and are open to the public.

“Everyone in our community can learn more about suicide prevention with Talk Saves Lives,” said AFSP Virginia Chapter Secretary Crystal Graham. “AFSP partners with the Valley Community Services Board, Mental Health America Augusta and more to offer more intensive training, but this is a good starting point for anyone who has an interest in learning more about suicide prevention efforts.”

In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. The mission of AFSP is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

“It is our goal to bring more training to the community along with other partners,” said Graham. “We are working to offer safeTalk monthly, and ASIST quarterly, and we invite members of the community to join us in being proactive and becoming lifesavers in our community.”

safeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training to become a suicide-alert helper.

ASIST, or Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, is a two-day intensive course for anyone age 16 and up, who wants to be able to provide suicide first aid. It teaches effective intervention skills whil helping build suicide prevention networks in the community.

To register for the “Talk Saves Lives” training on May 26, send your name and number of attendees and which session you plan to attend to AFSP Virginia Chapter Secretary Crystal Graham at You may also request to get information on upcoming trainings include safeTALK and ASIST.

For more information on AFSP or “Talk Saves Lives,” visit

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).