Year: 2021 Source: Journal of Community Psychology. (2021). Published online 14 June 2021. doi: 10.1002/jcop.22624. SIEC No: 20210450

Aims: Gatekeeper training (GKT) is an important suicide prevention strategy. Studies have evaluated the effectiveness of GKT in different populations, often neglecting family and friends who play a vital role in caring for people with suicide risk. This review evaluated GKT programs targeting family and friends to determine their effectiveness in this specific population.

Methods: Academic databases were searched for studies on GKT programs. Programs involving family and friends caring for people with suicide risk were assessed for any impact on knowledge, self-efficacy, attitudes, and suicide prevention skills.

Results: Seventeen studies were reviewed. GKT showed significant gains on outcomes of interest. Three studies targeted family and friends, with one involving them in program creation and conduction and another adjusting the program after their input.

Conclusions: GKT programs have potentially positive effects on family and friends caring for people with suicide risk. Few programs address the specific needs of this group, and programs adapted specifically for them are scarce. Future program development recommendations are discussed.