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Our History

For nearly four decades, we've been world leaders in suicide intervention training. From a small startup to a global company, we've always wondered: how can we make the world a better place?

History Calgary

Past

Calgary, 1983. Coming together from diverse backgrounds including social work, psychiatry, and counseling, four men—Richard Ramsay, Bryan Tanney, Roger Tierney, and Bill Lang—had a radical idea: what if they could empower everyone to help save lives from suicide? Setting out to address the lack of effective skills among both laypeople and professionals, they developed the precursor to the current LivingWorks ASIST program and a Train-the-Trainer model to disseminate it.

This groundbreaking program addressed a critical need for suicide intervention skills in many workplaces and communities. It spread across Canada and made its way to the USA, Australia, and beyond. The four founders' partnership become LivingWorks, a social enterprise dedicated to building a world free from suicide loss. Richard Ramsay and Bryan Tanney went on to organize a United Nations conference on national suicide prevention strategies, and over a dozen countries continue to use their blueprint to this day. Following Roger Tierney's untimely death to cancer 1997, Tarie Kinzel joined the founders in leading and developing LivingWorks programs. In 2019, Tarie also passed away due to cancer, leaving a legacy that we strive to honor every day.



History present

Present

We've come a long way! Our founders have transitioned to make way for new leadership, though Richard Ramsay and Bill Lang remain active as members of our board of governors. Here's what we've achieved to date:

Empowered over 2,000,000 people to save lives from suicide

8,000 trainers worldwide

Trainings from Australia to Zambia and over 30 countries in between

Translated into languages such as French, Korean, Norwegian, and Lithuanian

Over 50 peer-reviewed studies support our programs' effectiveness

Estimates suggest that our training has prevented over 300,000 suicide attempts

History future 2

Future

For all that we've done, we're just getting started. We've recently taken a massive leap forward with the development of powerful technology-based solutions such as LivingWorks Start and LivingWorks Connect. Together with our proven face-to-face programs, these innovations provide a comprehensive solution that lets us bring suicide prevention skills to anyone, anywhere.

Our integrated, community-based offering is unique within the suicide prevention field. Rather than just training, we provide a solution and a roadmap that communities and organizations can follow to save lives on a population level. Scalable across workplaces, cities, states, and provinces, this solution is creating a life-saving impact for thousands of communities—bringing us closer to our vision of a world where living works for everyone.