DCU SU host SafeTALK training for students

Amy Donohoe

The SafeTALK training was held in the U building on DCU's Glasnevin campus.

TheStudents’ Union ran SafeTALK training to teach students how to prevent suicide.

Students learned the basic steps to recognise people with suicidal thoughts and how to connect them with resources that can help them.

The talk was facilitated by Fiona Lavin from the 3Ts, Turn the Tide of Suicide.

3Ts promotes positive mental health and suicide alertness. Their facilitators provide information talks and training workshops.

When asked about the importance of the event, Aisling Fagan DCUSU Welfare and Equality Vice President said, “getting the message across that one conversation really can save a life, is essential.”

She continued to say that, “It’s so important to give students the opportunity to receive education and hopefully gain confidence in the area, as it can make a huge difference to someone’s life.”

Lavin opened the workshop by asking students to imagine they are a glass vase. When trauma is experienced they sustain a large crack in the vase, but are still intact and as life goes on there may be another horrible event causing more cracks to develop. She emphasised the importance of looking out for these cracks.

The DCU students were trained to move beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss or avoid suicide but instead to identify people who have thoughts of suicide and apply the TALK steps to offer help.

The TALK  (Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe) is a step by step guide on how to connect a person who has suicidal thoughts to suicide first-aid intervention caregivers.

The workshop is available for anyone over 18 years of age who wants to help prevent suicide and is prepared to become a suicide-alert helper. Students were advised not to participate in the workshop if they’ve lost someone through suicide in the last 12 months.

The students were warned to “Expect to be challenged. Expect to have feelings. Expect to be hopeful,” during the sensitive workshop.

They were informed about why it is important to be suicide alert in a modern society, especially with the pressure of social media.

They were encouraged to ask questions and enter discussions throughout the process. They learned how to deal with a suicidal person in a difficult situation and were given clear and practical information on what to do.

Clubs Officer Thomas Dorian said, “It was a fantastic workshop and our facilitator Fiona was so engaging and made us really think about the issue of suicide and how to spot somebody who might be thinking of taking their own life. I was so inspired by the workshop that I am considering to become a facilitator for the 3T.”

Amy Donohoe

Image Credit: Amy Donohoe