The world's leading suicide intervention workshop is being held in Missoula this week, specifically for Missoula County Public Schools counselors, psychologists and social workers.

The training, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) is specifically for counselors, psychologists and social workers, for advanced methods in providing suicide first aid.

Carol Ewen, Response to Intervention Specialist with MCPS, said funding from state and local suicide prevention teams made the training possible.

“They provided the suicide prevention kits and we were able to provide the two-day training for all of our school counselors, social worker and school psychologists in both MCPS and our feeder schools,” Ewen said.

Ewen said since Montana consistently ranks near the top nationally in suicides, the training is especially appropriate.

“Montana consistently ranks in the top five in suicide completion rate per capita, and this past year we were number one,” she said. “Missoula has had a really high rate of suicides, not just with adolescents but with men who are in their 60’s and then also people in their 20’s.”

Ewen said along with providing attendees with the tools necessary to help intervene in a suicidal situation, they will also receive contact information that will benefit a potential victim and their family.

"We try to direct them to the Missoula Youth Crisis Diversion website that's been developed to help parents and teachers find resources for their students," she said. "They can call their doctor or a mental health professional or a suicide hotline."