Caring and crisis hotline Caring Contact will be offering Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4, at the RWJ Rahway Fitness and Wellness Center in Scotch Plains. The class will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. A continental breakfast and light lunch is included. 

ASIST is an internationally acclaimed interactive training program in suicide first-aid. The training provides participants with the tools to intervene in the case of a suicide and create positive outcomes when dealing with someone who is feeling suicidal.

This training is ideal for police officers, EMTs, teachers and school administrators, social workers, counselors, clergy, business managers and a wide variety of community members.

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The suicide rate in the United States has been increasing every year since 1999, rising more than 24 percent between 1999 and 2014. Every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide and more than 42,700 people died by suicide in 2014, including 4,600 young people. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth aged 10-24 and four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.

"Suicide knows no socioeconomic boundaries and people of all walks of life and ages can feel suicidal," said Joanne Oppelt, executive director of Caring Contact. "They may be our loved ones or our coworkers or members of our religious communities. They may be strangers who a first responder is called to help. ASIST will provide you with the tools to make a difference in these situations and save a life."

The value for the course is $300. Caring contact is offering it for $150. To learn more or register, visit http://caringcontact.org/training-registration/ or call 908-301-1899.

Caring Contact is an award-winning, volunteer-staffed crisis hotline and listening community providing active listening support and best-in-class education to the Central and Northern New Jersey community. More than 200 volunteer listeners attentively and compassionately serve those in emotional distress, answering more than 15,000 calls per year from people in crisis, having suicidal thoughts or simply feeling depressed and lonely. Caring Contact also educates communities about the power of personal connection.

If you are in crisis and need someone to listen, call them at 908-232-2880. To learn more, visit www.caringcontact.org.\

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer listener should visit http://caringcontact.org/give-support/volunteer/.

Caring Contact serves Central and Northern New Jersey and is a primary responder to calls to the national suicide prevention line (1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE) that originate in New Jersey. Callers also reach Caring Contact by dialing 908-232-2880. Those preferring to seek supporting through texting may text “heart” to 741-741. The hotline also provides best-in-class training to the Central and Northern New Jersey Community.

About Caring Contact

Caring Contact is an award-winning, volunteer-staffed caring and crisis hotline providing active listening support and best-in-class education to the Central and Northern New Jersey community. We attentively and compassionately serve those in emotional distress and educate our communities about the power of personal connection. We are affiliated with CONTACT USA, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Association of Suicidology. If you are in crisis and need someone to listen, call us at 908-232-2880. To learn more, visit www.caringcontact.org