safeTALK: suicide alertness for everyone

safeTALK is a half-day training in suicide alertness. It helps participants recognise a person with thoughts of suicide and connect them with resources who can help them in choosing to live. Participants don’t need any formal preparation to attend the training—anyone age 18 or older who wants to make a difference can learn the safeTALK steps.

SafeTalk 01

FOCUS: Suicide alertness training for the community

DURATION: 3 hours–4 hours (half a day)

PARTICIPANTS: Anyone 18 or older


How safeTALK works

Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t want to die—instead, they are looking for a way to work through the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they usually invite others to help them in making a choice for life. safeTALK teaches participants to recognise these invitations, engage with the person with thoughts of suicide, and connect them with resources to help them be safer from suicide.

These resources could include health care professionals, first responders, or helpline workers—among many others who have suicide intervention training.

Training process

safeTALK features both presentations and interactive elements. Trainers will facilitate participants’ involvement through:

  1. Trainer presentations
  2. Diverse selection of audiovisuals
  3. Interactive discussion and questions
  4. TALK steps practice
  5. TALK wallet card
  6. “You can TALK to Me” stickers

Goals and objectives

safeTALK helps participants become alert to suicide. Suicide-alert people are better prepared to connect persons with thoughts of suicide with life-affirming help. Over the course of their training, safeTALK participants will learn to:

  1. Notice and respond to situations where suicide thoughts may be present,
  2. Recognise that invitations for help are often overlooked,
  3. Move beyond the common tendency to miss, dismiss, and avoid suicide,
  4. Apply the TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, KeepSafe, and
  5. Know community resources and how to connect someone with thoughts of suicide to them for further suicide-safer help.

As a taxi driver, I speak to a surprising number of people who have thoughts of suicide. safeTALK has given me and other drivers in Kilkenny a way to help them stay safe.

—Derek Devoy, Taxi Driver, Kilkenny, Ireland

Who should take safeTALK?

safeTALK is designed for anyone age 18 or older, including many in more formal helping roles. The steps learned in safeTALK have helped participants from all walks of life be alert to situations where suicide thoughts may be present.