Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)



Guelph, Ontario
Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5, 2016
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day standardized training developed to offer individuals with the skills for brief, crisis intervention when suicide is a risk. Recognized by the World Health Organization as a standard for suicide intervention training, ASIST is an opportunity to develop tangible skills in suicide intervention. The course is created to address attitudinal shifts, awareness and experiential learning through role play. The trainers will apply an overarching occupational lens to the two days. Concepts such as how role loss, occupational loss, occupational deprivation, functional loss and meaningful occupational engagement can be connected to one’s story about suicide will be explored and applied. Role plays and practice will weave occupational case scenarios for easier application to participants’ practice environments.

Due to the standardized nature of this training, a certificate of completion will only be provided to participants who are present and participate for the full two days.


Day 1

Day 2

· Prepare for the overall training including pre-workshop survey

· Explore, examine and discuss attitudes around suicide

· Learn components of ASIST pathway for exploring and keeping someone safe from suicide

· Practice each skills as a component

· Learn complexities of pathway

· Explore how to manage when intervention is not smooth

· Large group practice through occupation-tailored case scenarios

· Individual role play

· Networking

· Reflect on learning including post-workshop survey

 Goals and Learning Objectives:

After taking part in this workshop, participants will:

· Have reflected on personal and professional attitudes & beliefs about suicide.
· Be more aware of current societal and practice contexts.
· Be more aware of their ethical responsibility.
· Be able to apply a framework of risk assessment.
· Have reflected on the importance of self-care and considered the impact of occupational engagement and lack thereof, on mental well-being .
· Feel more comfortable assessing and addressing suicidality, as well as intervening when suicide is a risk.

Target Audience:

Occupational therapists, occupational therapist assistants, students in occupational therapy programs and students in OTA/PTA programs


Kim Hewitt, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Kim is an occupational therapist who has worked in a persistent pain-oriented practice setting, mental health-oriented practice settings and education-oriented settings. Suicide has been present in all these settings. She is an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Master Trainer and has trained over 800 people in suicide crisis intervention skills. In 2013/14, she supervised a study that surveyed how ready, willing and able Canadian occupational therapists are to address suicide in practice. She also facilitated and participated as a panelist in the Professional Issues Forum on Suicide Prevention and the Role of Occupational Therapy at the 2014 CAOT Conference. Currently she is the Chair of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council and working on the Early Psychosis Intervention team out of Canadian Mental Health Association, Waterloo Wellington Dufferin, Ontario.

Joanne Zimmerman

Joanne is an ASIST trainer who has worked in the area of mental health for over 25 years.  She has worked as a Mental Health Occupational Therapist in community and hospital settings in Toronto and as a Mental Health Care Coordinator with the Waterloo-Wellington CCAC.   She has provided direct support to individuals at risk of suicide and worked as a manager developing, implementing and overseeing crisis and mental health services.  Joanne obtained her Masters in Public Health through the University of Waterloo.  Her areas of interest include mental health education and promotion, suicide prevention and intervention as well as broader social and system issues, such as, addressing stigma and discrimination and social determinants of health.


Registration Fees:               
Early bird rates: By January 15, 2016
CAOT Members and Associates: $210 - Non members: $275
Regular rates: Between January 16 and February 12, 2016
CAOT Members and Associates: $260 - Non members: $325
Plus applicable taxes

Registration deadline: February 12, 2016 

*If you would like to inquire on accessibility options available to you, please contact or 1-800-434-2268 ext. 231. 

** Limited registrations available: Maximum 30 registrants

Occupational therapists registered in Ontario may be eligible for reimbursement through the Allied Health Professional Development Fund. Please visit their website for more information about eligibility and how to apply:  

Workshop Location:

CMHA Waterloo Wellington Dufferin
80 Waterloo Ave
Guelph ON N1H A01

To offer this workshop at a competitive price and to allow each one to choose food items that best suits their needs and preference, lunch and refreshments are not included in the registration fee. Participants should plan either to bring their lunch or to go to one of the many nearby restaurants.

Cancellation / Refund Policy:

All refund requests must be sent in writing to the CAOT National Office. Requests received prior to the registration deadline will be given a 50% refund. CAOT will not provide a refund after the registration deadline. CAOT reserves the right to cancel or modify the offering.

If you would like to attend this workshop in another location, please complete this brief survey to let us know. Please note that the registration fee may vary from one location to another as there are different costs involved.

For additional information, contact us at or 1-800-434-2268 ext. 231.

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