Year: 2023 Source: Crisis. (2010). 31(3), 149–159. DOI: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000014 SIEC No: 20230971
Background: Suicide is a significant public health problem worldwide that requires evidence-based prevention efforts. One approach to prevention is gatekeeper training. Gatekeeper training programs for community members have demonstrated positive changes in knowledge and attitudes about suicide. Changes in gatekeeper skills have not been well established. Aims: To assess and to predict the impact of a brief, gatekeeper training on community members' observed skills. Methods: Participants in a community gatekeeper training were employees at US universities. 50 participants were randomly selected for skills assessment and videotaped interacting with a standardized actor prior to and following training. Tapes were reliably rated for general and suicide-specific skills. Results: Gatekeeper skills increased from pre- to posttest: 10% of participants met criteria for acceptable gatekeeper skills before training, while 54% met criteria after training. Pretraining variables did not predict increased skills. Limitations: Results do not provide conclusions about the relationship between observed gatekeeper skills and actual use of those skills in the future. Conclusions: Gatekeeper training enhances suicide-specific skills for the majority of participants. Other strategies, such as behavioral rehearsal, may be necessary to enhance skills in the remaining participants.