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Skateboard community wants to educate themselves on life-saving intervention skills


Oct 14, 2021

LivingWorks, a global leader in suicide intervention skills training, has today released results of an initial evaluation of online training undertaken by Converse team managers, skateboarders, Skate shop staff, filmers, photographers and company staff members.

LivingWorks President, Rick Trimp, said of the results, “The skateboarding community has been devasted by suicide and wanted to take positive action to support each other. The Ben Raemers Foundation and Converse came to LivingWorks wanting help to educate themselves on life saving suicide intervention skills.

We introduced them to LivingWorks Start, an easy, online, suicide prevention skill-building program where people can learn what clues to listen for and how to connect the individual thinking of suicide with someone who can provide the help they need."

Ben Raemers Foundation spokesperson Susie Crome said of the training, “Since professional skateboarder Ben Raemers took his life just over two years ago, we’ve been working to maintain Ben’s legacy through helping prevent other losses to suicide. Many of our community have never had any training in suicide intervention yet too many have been affected by suicide and struggle themselves. This training with LivingWorks has not only given us hope but also practical skills we can put into play where we live, work and skate.”

Susie said of the partnership, “We are staggered by the suicide statistics, particularly when it comes to young people, a huge creative force and inspiration for the future in our communities. Now, more than ever, we cannot be complacent when it comes to protecting those around us from the risk of suicide. This is just the beginning of building a network of safety around the skateboarding community.”

“Losing Ben has been a reminder than some good can come of this tragic loss – getting the chance to work with the Ben Raemers Foundation and deliver suicide prevention trainings has been an incredible source of energy for me over the past year. All skateboarders have a pretty “tough guy” mentality and it has really been amazing to see the community opening up, talking about how they feel, and supporting one another.” – Rob Collins; Marketing Manager at Converse.

Headlines results:

In 2021, LivingWorks Start training (90 minute online interactive skills based introduction to suicide first aid) was offered to Converse Team managers, skateboarding athletes, Skate shop owners, filmers, photographers and company staff members.

Approximately 75% of participants had no previous training in suicide prevention

The e-learning program was anchored with virtual debrief sessions that deepened learning

As part of this pilot LivingWorks surveyed more than 130 people at training completion

Almost half (43.5%) of participants already have someone in mind that they could use their skills new with

Almost all (97.1%) of participants agreed that by doing LivingWorks Start, if they were struggling with thoughts of suicide, they would now know how to get help

More than two thirds (69.4%) of participants want to play a suicide prevention role that extends beyond awareness – that is, identify someone is having thoughts of suicide and connecting them to care, being alert to someone at risk of suicide and keep them safe, and help someone with suicide thoughts to create a safety plan.

More than 90% (92.1%) of participants found the LivingWorks Start program valuable.

Comments from some of the learners who took part included:

“This hit hard right now after losing someone to suicide. I can’t change what happened, but I can change how I will enter into those type of situations moving forward.”

“Understanding that you can help with simple questions & answers. This reviewed scenarios in my past where I was not in my best mind state, which gave me greater understanding that you are not alone and there is help out there. It’s better to talk to someone about what’s going on, then to give your life up..”

“…I had no idea how much of an ice breaker talking openly about suicide could be. Thank you.”

“Understanding the steps to take I've been in this conversation many times and said the wrong thing I’m glad to know what to say and how to act.”

More about LivingWorks Start

LivingWorks Start is the first step in the continuum of safety skills offered by LivingWorks. It is a 90-minute online program that anyone can take to be trained to recognise the signs of suicide and take life-saving action by connecting those at risk to hope and safety.

To learn more about Start, you can watch this video or visit

More about LivingWorks

LivingWorks is the world’s leading provider of suicide prevention solutions. It has more than 35 years of history and expertise and has trained 2.3 million people worldwide.

Its programs have been evaluated in more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, and its ASIST and safeTALK programs are recognized best practices, used by crisis hotlines throughout the world. LivingWorks’ vision is a world free from suicide loss.

It strives to accomplish this by providing high-quality training programs that empower everyone to be part of the solution.

To date LivingWorks has:

  • Empowered over 2,000,000 people to save lives from suicide
  • Over 50 peer-reviewed studies support our programs' effectiveness with that research and evaluation being updated to include new digital interventions
  • 8,000 trainers worldwide
  • Run training courses from the U.S.A., the U.K., to Zambia and over 30 countries in between
  • Embed diversity, inclusion and equity into all programs.

Interested in LivingWorks programs? Contact Beth Kelln, Strategic Partnerships at