As 2023 comes to a close, LivingWorks is wrapping up this milestone year with a big thank you to everyone who played a role in helping to keep communities around the world safer from suicide.
LivingWorks CEO, Lance Armstrong, says a big ‘thank you’ would be his number one message. “There are a lot of people with a lot of passion who are very committed to what we do… I see it every day. It’s a pleasure to work here with all the different people who are contributing.”
Highlights from our 40th Anniversary year include:
- Over 200,000 people completed LivingWorks suicide prevention skills training worldwide in 2023, resulting in safer and stronger communities.
- 40 years of LivingWorks ASIST – the world’s leading suicide intervention skills training. Our 40th Anniversary trainer conference in October was our first conference since the pandemic and had more than 150 attendees from seven different countries.
- In 2023, LivingWorks trainers delivered more than 11,000 LivingWorks ASIST and safeTALK training courses in 40 countries across the globe.
- Through our Training For Trainers (T4T) courses this year, we now have more than 2600 new LivingWorks ASIST and safeTALK trainers, expanding the reach of LivingWorks training and the promotion of suicide safer communities worldwide.
- This year, we reached more than 10,000 LivingWorks trainers across the globe.
Armstrong says the 40th Conference highlighted the impressive energy and passion the trainers have that inspires everyone around them. “It never ceases to amaze me to see how impactful this training is in the world, and how passionate and committed our trainers are.”
Around the globe
Although Calgary, Alberta is the birthplace of LivingWorks, our mission of keeping all communities safer from suicide has grown across the globe and now has a worldwide impact.
Highlights from our global efforts to make everyone safer from suicide in 2023 include:
- More than 59,000 people attended a LivingWorks ASIST or safeTALK workshop outside of North America this year.
- Countries such as Malta and Italy added LivingWorks trainers to their country for the first time this year.
- Australia introduced more than 100 new trainers and 1500-plus workshops that trained more than 23,000 people.
- LivingWorks staff and partners presented at, and LivingWorks sponsored major international suicide prevention conferences including NASP (London, UK), AAS (Portland, OR), CASP (Halifax NS), SPA (Canberra, AUS) and IASP (Piran, Slovenia).
- The continued increase in new LivingWorks trainers helped countries such as Singapore reach more than 1500 participants trained in 2023.
Jansen Sng, a new LivingWorks ASIST trainer located in Singapore, is one of the many trainers in the region who plays a significant role in making communities safer from suicide. “As a social worker, I was introduced to the importance of evidence-based practice and began researching for more effective and robust ways to better support those with thoughts of suicide,” says Sng. “I was introduced to LivingWorks ASIST and first felt connected due to the space created for us to examine our own attitudes about suicide. I felt that this was an integral component that I connected with.”
After receiving LivingWorks ASIST training, Sng eventually became a trainer himself. “By sharing and training LivingWorks ASIST to the public, I felt I could contribute to building a suicide safer society for everyone.”
“We had a really strong presence at every major international and national suicide prevention conference this year… A lot of the knowledge we have been able to develop, we have shared with others.”– Shayne Connell, LivingWorks EVP, Development
Connell says the work LivingWorks is doing is in alignment with a global movement around increasing awareness and literacy when it comes to mental health and suicide prevention. “Our ability to provide the education and the skills to have those conversations is happening at the right time,” says Connell. “I’ve been involved with LivingWorks for 20 years. 2024 looks to me like the most exciting year that we’ll have on record.”
Armstrong believes a steady and determined desire to implement LivingWorks’ strategic plans will help to make next year a success. “We’ve been going through a lot of transformation as a company, levelling-up to deliver on our mission at a much larger scale,” says Armstrong. “We have an intentional and determined way of making our goals happen. I’m really excited about that.”
LivingWorks Christmas and Holiday office closure
LivingWorks offices worldwide will be closed for the holidays on December 23, 2023, with normal operations resuming on January 2, 2024.
Remember this holiday season, help is always close by. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, head to our Find Safety page for local crisis lines in your region.
Thank you for your continued support of LivingWorks and our collective mission to help keep communities around the world safer from suicide. We wish you a safe holiday season, and a happy and healthy New Year.