Sailors Take Part in ASIST Class

Sailors Take Part in ASIST Class

Sailors participated in the first, underway Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) class aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), June 10-11.


ASIST aims to provide Sailors with the proper techniques and tools to recognize and handle a suicidal situation.

“This is the first time ASIST is being held underway in the Navy,” said Lt. Brian Kirschenbaum, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 chaplain. “It was first brought into effect in the military by the Army less than 10 years ago.”

According to Kirschenbaum, suicides have decreased and more service members are feeling comfortable enough to ask for help since the start of ASIST in the military.

“A higher statistic of Sailors reporting thoughts of suicide does not mean more Sailors are contemplating suicide,” said Cmdr. Jon Conroe, head chaplain of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. “It is proving to us that more military members feel comfortable coming out with those thoughts and seeking help. If more service members seek help, there are less chances of them acting on their thoughts.”

ASIST provided Sailors various practical exercises to get them familiar with ways to engage a situation like suicide.

George Washington plans to conduct more ASIST training classes and Sailors are encouraged to get involved.

George Washington and CVW 5 provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Press Release, June 12, 2014; Image: Wikimedia