An integral part of the Wesley LifeForce suicide intervention training program, the SALT strategy has been equipping people and communities since 1996.
Supporting someone at risk of suicide can be a difficult task. Wesley LifeForce aims to simplify this task with SALT—a simple strategy, an acronym to remember to see, ask, listen, tell, or take.
When we’re talking about the S in the SALT strategy, it’s to see what the person is going through, to see the person is struggling. Now, you might know that they have issues going on in their life, or events in their life that maybe have a bit of concern for someone. It’s just to recognise that.
The A in the SALT strategy is a very important part of the strategy. It’s about asking, and it’s asking about suicidal intent. If you are concerned for someone, try asking them, are they considering taking their life? Or are they suicidal? You’re giving them permission to talk about that and to open up about that.
Listening to someone is the opportunity to hear what they’re going through. It’s giving the opportunity for the person at risk of suicide or who you may be concerned about to be able to open up, to share what they’re going through. And we do talk about that, active listening and really sitting down and letting them speak their mind, letting the individual talk through what they’re going through, because that process also helps them to put everything up into a clearer picture to understand what’s going on for them, as well.
The T in the SALT strategy is probably the culmination of the process, and that we are talking about taking people to the proper professional support. Our SALT strategy is a process to identify someone at risk and to work with helping that person to get on the pathway to recovery.
Building individual resilience
Wesley LifeForce believes to be most effective in helping others, we must first look after our own wellbeing. Here’s a few tips to help:
- look after your physical health
- practise positive thinking—challenge negative thoughts
- think well of yourself
- invest time and energy in developing new skills
- look after relationships
- get involved in enjoyable community activities for example social or sporting, or volunteer
- don’t tackle major problems alone—ask for help and support when you need it.