Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (397)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

397. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the training available in Templemore in Assist and SafeTalk training; if he will support the suicide awareness training for all gardaí; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14758/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I refer the Deputy to my response to question number 409 of 11th March 2014. The position remains the same.

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that during their training, all Student/Probationer Gardaí received instruction on the issue of suicide. Historically, instruction was given to Student Gardaí which included an overview of suicide, suicide statistics, parasuicide, deliberate self harm, bullying, prisoners etc. This instruction was given to prepare Student Gardai for dealing with such occurrences on other phases of their training. The new training programme in which new recruits will be taking part, includes a two day internationally recognised ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) suicide prevention programme which will be co-delivered with the Health Service Executive (HSE). There are currently three staff members trained as ASIST trainers and the programme will be co-facilitated with HSE staff. The ASIST programme is a suicide first aid programme which equips students with the skills required to discuss suicide with a person at risk and to make an intervention to reduce the immediate risk of suicide. In addition to the foregoing, there have been 35 Gardaí trained in ASIST community workshops which have taken place in the Garda College since 2011, co-facilitated by HSE staff. ASIST workshops also take place throughout the country with Divisional participation.