Suicide Prevention Initiatives
This aim focuses on evidence-based programs for the general public or a specific group/population that are not mental health professionals. These programs focus on developing an individual's knowledge, attitudes, and skills pertaining to mental health and suicide prevention. By improving upon these components, a layperson can become a “gatekeeper” who is better equipped to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide. The following training programs have been implemented as part of this aim:
Any adult (e.g., parents, teachers, doctors, office supervisors and staff, police officers, caseworkers, students) can be trained in QPR. A QPR-trained gatekeeper learns the following: how to recognize suicide warning signs, how to calmly ask questions and listen to an at-risk person, and how to get help for someone at-risk. The training includes providing a brief history of suicide prevention, epidemiology/statistics pertaining to suicide, risk factors, warning signs, and protective factors, facts and myths of suicide, common ways in which someone may express suicidal thoughts and feelings, and general strategies for interacting and intervening with at-risk individuals during a moment of crisis.
College and university faculty, staff, and students can be trained in Campus Connect. These gatekeepers are taught the knowledge, awareness, and skills needed to help reduce the risk of a college student making a suicide attempt by connecting the student to campus resources. The training seeks to increase knowledge of suicide statistics, warning signs, risk factors, protective factors, and referral resources; to increase empathic listening skills, communication skills, and a person's ability to ask others if they are contemplating suicide; and to increase self-awareness of potential emotional reactions gatekeepers may come across when assisting a student in crisis. The training also offers an interactive roleplay component to practice learned concepts.