Program Evaluation of the Samaritans of New York’s Public Education Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training Program
Matthieu M M~~Ross A~~Knox K L
The Samaritans of New York provide a public education suicide awareness and prevention training program focusing on suicide awareness and training in the skills and philosophy to befriend a person in crisis. Fifty-nine participants from a city department of human resources “helpline” to participated in a 3-hr employee training for information line service providers. Participants completed a pre/postmeasure of knowledge and efficacy to manage a caller in distress or in a suicidal crisis. The participants were predominately female (n = 52; 88%), 90% from diverse cultural groups, with ages ranging from 20 to 65 (M = 44; SD = 10.3). Results showed that participants scored significantly higher on measures of perceived knowledge about suicide and self-efficacy to intervene with a person thought to be at risk for suicide after training (M = 25.7, SD = 5.9) than before (M = 15.0, SD = 6.1) (t = –10.71, p < .0001). The training program increased the abilities, awareness, and confidence levels of people whose jobs it is on a daily basis to provide care, comfort, and support for those who are in crisis and at risk for suicide.