Safetalk training has had more 23,000 participants in Canada, according to 2015 report
The Safetalk training at George Brown College (GBC) aimed to develop skills needed to identify and help folks who might be contemplating suicide.
The ‘safe’ in Safetalk stands for, suicide alertness for everyone, and is a three hour training seminar that gives participants the tools and resources they need to be more suicide alert.
“We have a mandate to develop a culture of care and support at GBC,” said Genevieve Beaupre, a counsellor at the Casa Loma campus.
There are 23,564 Safetalk training participants in Canada, according to a 2015 report by Livingworks, which runs the Safetalk program. The organization currently provides programming and training opportunities for mental health issues globally.
“We emphasize in the workshop to ask directly if the person is having thoughts of suicide,” said Beaupre. “There is help available.”
The training consisted of videos, talk and role-playing around scenarios that allowed participants to engage with one another, and to learn to pick up the signs of someone contemplating suicide. At the end of the session attendees received a certificate of completion.
Beaupre explained that it is important for anyone who identifies someone contemplating suicide, to take the time to listen because, “a lot of people with thoughts of suicide often feel isolated.” She added that it’s important to bring that person to someone who can do a suicide assessment and who has safety resources available.
Safetalk facilitators encouraged anyone including staff, faculty and students to become suicide alert helpers as it does not require prior knowledge to attend.
“If someone is there to reach out to that person, they can return to a place of safety and suicide can be prevented,” said Owen Stockden, communications officer of Livingworks.
The Safetalk training was held in room 536E at St. James campus on Feb. 27. For more information contact Genevieve Beaupre at email@example.com