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Suicide Prevention Training

A gatekeeper is anyone within a community who is responsible for the health and safety of an individual, has access to resources, and has the ability to listen, connect, assess, and most importantly, act when someone is contemplating suicide. The Alaska Gatekeeper Training will help prepare and give knowledge about suicide, including identifying risk factors, warning signs as well as protective factors that influence a person’s ability to care for themselves during a crisis. Gatekeepers will also learn and practice intervention skills such as active listening, relationship building, assessment of risk, and the development of an action plan including the identification of community resources and making appropriate referral. The gatekeeper is just that-someone who keeps watch and identifies, but does not treat in the long term.

The objectives of this training are to:

  1. Learn about the prevalence, research, myths and facts surrounding suicide.
  2. Teach people how to become good listeners and give a concerned response to a suicidal individual.
  3. Teach people how to feel comfortable and effective as gatekeepers who listen and assess.
  4. Develop a group of people who are comfortable intervening with individuals who have suicidal thoughts, or are about to engage in self harm.

The Targeted Gatekeeper Training and the Targeted Gatekeeper Program was developed at the University of Alaska Anchorage, by staff of Behavioral Health Research and Services (BHRS) and with the support from many community volunteers. During the development, no single set of standards of care has been identified as the answer to all suicide assessment and prevention efforts. Each contact with a suicidal person is unique and the outcomes of a gatekeeper interaction cannot be predicted with certainty. This gatekeeper training simply provides guidelines, information and skills training to prepare gatekeepers clinically and ethically.

For more information about this training or how to arrange the Targeted Gatekeeper Training to be conducted in your community or agency, please contact James Gallanos, LCSW, Department of Health and Social Services, Behavioral Health, Office of Prevention and Early Intervention Services, (907) 465-8536.

This program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Provider #886487947) for 9 continuing education contact hours.