Year: 2021 Source: Pedagogy in Health Promotion. (2021). Published online 1 February 2021. doi:10.1177/2373379921989383 SIEC No: 20210178

Introduction. The concern that talking about suicide may intensify suicidal ideation is a common fear that has been dispelled by research, yet still lingers in popular consciousness. The aim of the current initiative was to develop a brief suicide prevention training for volunteers in a peer support program for veterans, given that layperson-facing approaches are critical to the U.S. national strategy for suicide prevention. Method. The study team adapted existing pedagogical approaches for use in a brief training and for a veteran population, and implemented the training with five new volunteer groups over 5 months (N = 45). Results. Anonymous pre- and posttraining questionnaires indicated immediate statistically significant improvements in self-reported preparation to talk openly about suicide, likelihood of asking about suicide, confidence in recognizing warning signs of suicide, and confidence in intervening and involving the National Suicide Hotline. Discussion. The project begins to demonstrate that self-reported suicide prevention knowledge and skills show immediate improvements after a brief training module nested within a broader new volunteer training. This work should support efforts to develop and implement research studies on brief suicide prevention training approaches in order to determine the extent to which they change behavior longitudinally and, ultimately, reduce rates of suicide.