We’ve had great responses to the trainings we’ve offered so far.  Here are a few comments from previous participants:

·         “It was so very good it inspired me to be involved with this process - a truly important and needed training. It should be mandatory.”
·         “This is one of the best trainings I attended in a while because it challenged me to really look at my fear and how I connect with myself and others.”

The Alternatives to Suicide approach was developed by the Western Massachusetts RLC in 2009 as one of the only peer-to-peer groups that truly focuses on the topic of suicide.  Rather than assessment and risk, these groups are based in creating a non-judgmental space in which to discuss suicide and other taboo topics. 

“Before [these groups], there was a big part of myself that I couldn’t show anybody.  I was told I could only talk about my sadness in this sanctioned little box (my therapist’s office).  But I couldn’t even talk about suicide there, because they would make me go into the hospital.”   - Group Participant

Please complete the application below by June 6, 2018, in order to be considered for this training. If you have any questions, e-mail us at

Additional Information:

ACCEPTANCE TO THE TRAINING:  We will accept applications until June 6th.  At that time, we will review all applications received and notify people who have been accepted to the training by Wednesday, June 6.  If you would like to request early acceptance to the training (because you are coming from far away or have other extenuating circumstances that would require early notification of acceptance), please note that on your application.  Please Note:  We ALWAYS notify people whether or not they have been accepted.  If you do not hear back, it may be that we did not receive your application, so please check in with us. 

TRAINING DATES, TIMES AND LOCATION:  Dates for the training are scheduled for Monday, June 18, Tuesday, June 19, Wednesday, June 20.  Each day will run from 9:30am to 4:30pm.  Reading homework may be assigned ahead of time and/or during the class.  The training will be located at the in Somerville, Massachusetts at the Mystic Valley Community Room, in the Public Storage building. The location offers free parking and easy access via the Orange Line on the T. Attendance at all 3 sessions is required to complete the training.

TRAINING PREREQUISITES:  This training is primarily intended for people who have some basic facilitation skills and/or training, though not absolutely required so long as it is understood that the training is not designed to provide these basic skills. 

COST:  There is no cost for this training for people residing or working in Massachusetts.  For out-of-state attendees, we are requesting a $100.00 fee per participant.  (This fee can be waived upon request and based on need.)

OTHER IMPORTANT INFO: This training is open to people who identify as suicide attempt survivors, people who have struggled with suicidal thoughts, allies, friends and family, clinicians, peer workers and more. However: Only people who have been through personal struggles with thoughts of suicide or attempts are able to actually facilitate Alternatives to Suicide groups, and those groups should be held in non-clinical environments. Others who attend will be supported to use the approach more generally in their work and/or to offer an alternate group format that is better suited to a wider variety of environments. If you attend, you should expect that the group will include a mixture of people in varied roles. This training is designed to challenge and encourage creative thought about different belief systems, and so openness and genuine curiosity is a must! It is not intended as a ‘train the trainer’ model.

* 1. Please enter your contact information below.

* 2. If you are attending as an employee of an organization, please tell us what sort of organization you work for.

* 3. Most people will not receive notification of acceptance to the training until May 14. Do you require early notification (due to travel plans, etc.?)

* 4. If you require early notification, please provide details of when you'd like to be notified below, and we will do our best to accommodate you if at all possible.

* 5. Please tell us a bit more about who you are. (Mark as many as apply.)

* 6. Are you able to attend all three days (Monday, June 18, Tuesday, June 19, Wednesday, June 20) from beginning to end (9:30am to 4:30pm)?

* 7. If you are unable to attend any part of the training, please provide details below.

* 8. Please type your initials by each statement to indicate that you have read and understand it.

* 9. If you are someone who plans on starting a group, do you see yourself having the support to start an ‘Alternatives to Suicide’ group (in non-clinical spaces like libraries, churches, peer-to-peer spaces, etc.) or will you be seeking to set up an alternate format in a clinical setting? (If you don’t plan on starting a group, type N/A skip to the next question.)

* 10. If you are someone who does not plan on starting a group, how do you see yourself using what you learning at this training? (If you plan on starting a group, type N/A and skip to the next question.)

* 11. In your own words, explain what you think makes Alternatives to Suicide groups different from clinical groups?

* 12. Describe any training or experience you have facilitating groups. If you have no facilitation experience, how will you approach building your facilitation skills beyond this training?

* 13. Briefly describe the supports and barriers that will be present for you in starting an Alternatives to Suicide group in your area. (If not starting a group, type N/A and skip to next question.)

* 14. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your accomplishments, interests, dreams? What are the qualities you most appreciate about yourself?