Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ceisteanna (409)

Dan Neville

Ceist:

409. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether there is a need for the Garda to have policy procedures and training in place to deal with suicidal persons; if this training is compulsory; the number of gardaí that have taken up the training; if he will consider requesting that all gardaí would take up the relevant training to deal with persons who are suicidal considering the unfortunate high level of suicide in these times. [11659/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

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 Gardaí 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, 35 Gardaí have been 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.