Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training

What is Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training? Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training is like CPR training for mental health crises. Members of a community are taught basic skills to recognize a person at risk of suicide and to connect them to help. Most of the training programs can be implemented as a ½-day in-service or even over the lunch hour. The training programs objectives include: 1) improve communities’ ability to identify people at risk by teaching risk factors and warning signs, 2) to give gatekeepers initial intervention skills so that they know what to do if they suspect someone might be suicidal, and 3) to increase confidence and ability in making appropriate referrals to link suicidal people to resources.

Who should receive gatekeeper training? Ideally everyone. Different models of the training vary in intensity and length. Longer programs are probably more suited for first responders to crises. Shorter programs could be applicable to all people in the workplace community.

How does one get the gatekeeper training? There are several training models for suicide prevention gatekeeper training, and most require a certified trainer. Choose the model that best fits your population and find a certified trainer in your area. See matrix for contact information.

Train-your-trainers. Some of the programs offer certification courses for trainers. See individual models’ websites for more information.

Campus Community Training and Awareness Building

General Sessions for Students:

  • “Be a Shining Light of Hope” – Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas
  • “What Happy Faces are Hiding” – Ross Szabo
  • National Mental Health Awareness Campaign Speakers

Crisis Response and Postvention Training

  • “Preparing for the Worst: After a Suicide”
  • “Violence Goes to College” – Dr. John Nicoletti

Coalition Training

  • “A Primer on Building a Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program” – Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas

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