Does a gatekeeper suicide prevention program work in a school setting? Evaluating training outcome and moderators of effectiveness.

Department of Psychology, Linfield College, McMinnville, OR 97128, USA.
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.33). 10/2010; 40(5):506-15. DOI:10.1521/suli.2010.40.5.506
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The suicide prevention gatekeeper training program QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) was evaluated among school personnel using a nonequivalent control group design. Substantial gains were demonstrated from pre- to post-test for attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs regarding suicide and suicide prevention. Exploratory analyses revealed the possible moderating effects of age, professional role, prior training, and recent contact with suicidal youth on QPR participants' general knowledge, questioning, attitudes toward suicide and suicide prevention, QPR quiz scores, and self-efficacy. The need for replication using a more rigorous experimental design in the context of strong community collaboration is discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 10-24-year-olds and the target of school-based prevention efforts. Gatekeeper training, a broadly disseminated prevention strategy, has been found to enhance participant knowledge and attitudes about intervening with distressed youth. Although the goal of training is the development of gatekeeper skills to intervene with at-risk youth, the impact on skills and use of training is less known. Brief gatekeeper training programs are largely educational and do not employ active learning strategies such as behavioral rehearsal through role play practice to assist skill development. In this study, we compare gatekeeper training as usual with training plus brief behavioral rehearsal (i.e., role play practice) on a variety of learning outcomes after training and at follow-up for 91 school staff and 56 parents in a school community. We found few differences between school staff and parent participants. Both training conditions resulted in enhanced knowledge and attitudes, and almost all participants spread gatekeeper training information to others in their network. Rigorous standardized patient and observational methods showed behavioral rehearsal with role play practice resulted in higher total gatekeeper skill scores immediately after training and at follow-up. Both conditions, however, showed decrements at follow-up. Strategies to strengthen and maintain gatekeeper skills over time are discussed.
    The Journal of Prevention 08/2011; 32(3-4):195-211.
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    ABSTRACT: Rates of youth suicide and suicidal behavior remain high despite prevention efforts. Training high school personnel as gatekeepers is an important strategy. Training was implemented in a school district's five comprehensive high schools. Surveys were conducted before and after training sessions, which targeted all adults working at the high school. Two hundred thirty-seven individuals completed the pretest and/or posttest. Participants reported gains in knowledge, confidence, and feelings of competence in recognizing, approaching, and connecting distressed youth to school-based resources. Training was well received. Training is acceptable and appropriate for school personnel. Increasing the number of school personnel who participate in the training is challenging.
    Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing 02/2013; 26(1):53-61.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: This case study evaluated the effectiveness of an audience-specific, single-session, small-group interactive gatekeeper training program conducted at a large northeastern public university. Participants: Participants were 335 faculty, staff, and students completing gatekeeper training programs tailored to their group needs. Methods: Baseline assessments of knowledge about suicide, risk factors, resources for assistance, and comfort in intervening with a student in distress were administered to participants prior to the small-group training sessions; posttest assessments of knowledge and comfort in intervening with students in distress were administered upon completion of training and at 3-month follow-up. Results: There was a statistically significant increase in knowledge and comfort upon completion of training for both faculty/staff and student groups, although degradation of training effects at 3-month follow-up was evident. Conclusions: There are benefits associated with the implementation of audience-specific gatekeeper training programs. Booster training sessions to address skill degradation over time are recommended.
    Journal of American College Health 01/2014; 62(2):92-100. · 1.45 Impact Factor


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