An information meeting to announce details of a special two-day training programme in suicide awareness and intervention to help parents and adults who work with teenagers in the South Roscommon/Athlone area, will take place on Wednesday night, October 10th at 9 pm in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Kiltoom. The meeting will give all parents and adults who work alongside teenagers in a sporting, educational or community environment the opportunity to learn more about the new training programme – known as ASIST – that is taking place in the South Roscommon and Athlone area at the end of October. ASIST stands for applied suicide intervention skills training and is a Canadian model of training co-ordinated by the HSE here in Ireland to try and help adults identify young people at risk from suicide and give them professional advice on how to try and protect lives being lost. The training programme itself runs over two full days and details of the contents of the training and the people it is aimed for will be outlined in the Hodson Bay next week at the information meeting. The meeting is organised by Roscommon Lions Club which is working in partnership with the HSE, County Roscommon Mental Health Association and AWARE to try and tackle the scourge of suicide in County Roscommon. So far this year more than one hundred and fifty parents and members of community and voluntary groups from the county have undergone the ASIST training at centres in Boyle, Roscommon, Castlerea and Ballaghaderreen through a programme partly funded by the Government’s Dormant Accounts board. There has been a particularly good response to the training from sports clubs and youth groups where adult leaders have regular contact with teenagers. ASIST has often been called a form of ‘first aid for suicide’ and the people on the course feel the training offers them a level of confidence and know how that they did not have previously in supervising and working with teenagers. The meeting in the Hodson Bay is aimed at all sports clubs and youth groups, schools and other organisations working with young people and young men in particular in the South Roscommon-Athlone area. The meeting starts at 9 pm on Wednesday, October 10th (which is World Mental Health Awareness Day) and will last for 90 minutes. Speakers will explain exactly what the training entails to all present and it will then be a matter for individuals to make up their mind if they are interested in taking part in ASIST on October 19th and 20th in South Roscommon. The Lions Club is asking every GAA, soccer and rugby club in the area to nominate representatives to go to the information meeting. For further information about the meeting please contact (090) 66 25626. For help or assistance at any time you can contact the Samaritans at 1859 907070.