Breanna Ching feels equipped to help prevent suicide.
She completed an intensive, two-day, 14-hour workshop in November called ASIST, short for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.
ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety.
While ASIST is widely used by health-care providers, participants don’t need any formal training to attend the workshop.
Ching, 22, is set to raise funds to help subsidize people to take the program.
“It saves lives,’’ she says, “and finances shouldn’t be a barrier.’’
Ching says people have been comfortable opening up to her about mental health struggles after learning she has ASIST training.
She is co-hosting, with Jenny Cooper, the second annual Raising Up Warriors event in Charlottetown on May 4 with proceeds going to help subsidize participation in ASIST as well as to raise money for the Schizophrenia Society of P.E.I. and the Learning Disabilities Association of P.E.I.
Last year’s event drew over 200 people and raised $2,500.
Ching, who is studying at Dalhousie University to become a social worker, has battled anxiety and depression in the past.
She does not want others to feel like she once did.
“I’ve always been interested in helping people,’’ she says. “We are raising the awareness and breaking some of the stigmas.’’
Four guests will speak on bipolar, personality disorders, psychosis, depression, anxiety and losing a loved one to suicide. There will be a remembrance table where candles can be lit in honour of loved ones lost to suicide.
The Docherty Family Band of Brothers will perform. There will also be poetry, a raffle, silent auction, trivia, a rapper and a memorial for those lost to suicide.
The event runs 7-9 p.m. at Murphy’s Community Centre in Charlottetown. Admission is by donation. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the silent auction.