Gatekeeper Training: What Does It Mean?
What is a Gatekeeper? Why should you be trained to be one? Is it worth your time?
These are legitimate questions and hopefully this article will give you all of the answers you’re seeking and then some. Gatekeeper trainings are trainings designed to prepare an individual to recognize warnings signs of suicide and to talk to someone who might be considering suicide as an option. These trainings are offered in a majority of communities. You just need to know where to look for them.
ASIST is a 2 day training that is designed for everyone and anyone who might want to learn skills that will enable them to intervene if someone they encounter is having thoughts of suicide. The training is viewed as “suicide first aid” in that it trains participants to recognize warning signs of suicide, listen to the individual, and link to appropriate resources. LivingWorks created the ASIST model in 1983 and has updated it regularly since then as more research and feedback has become available. Visit their website by clicking on the logo above to find an ASIST training in your area.
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) is a one- to two-hour gatekeeper training that teaches lay and professional gatekeepers to recognize and respond positively to someone exhibiting suicide warning signs and behaviors. QPR requires instruction by a qualified trainer. Training is available from the QPR Institute or a qualified trainer for a fee. Click on the logo above to learn more about QPR.
safeTALK is another training offered by LivingWorks. safeTALK, about three hours in duration, is a training that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. Most people with thoughts of suicide invite help to stay safe. Alert helpers know how to use these opportunities to support that desire for safety.
This is only a small sample of available gatekeeper trainings available. No matter what training you choose, you’ll be better prepared if you encounter someone who is having thoughts of suicide. You should never feel like you can’t make a difference to someone who is struggling. ROCISAL encourages you to attend one (or more) of these trainings so that you can have a good understanding of how to address the issue of suicide. It’s a scary topic, we understand, but it’s not a topic that should be ignored or feared. Empower yourself to make a change in someone’s life. You might find that it’s easier than you expected.