Year: 2022 Source: Crisis. (2021). 42(1): 48-55. SIEC No: 20220386

Background: American college students are presenting with increasingly lower levels of mental health and higher levels of anxiety and depression. Close to 30% of college students report having seriously considered suicide in their lifetime. It is critical to train peer gatekeepers to recognize and react to mental health emergency scenarios on college campuses. Aims: The Suicide Prevention for College Student Gatekeepers training program was designed to provide college students with information about the warning signs of suicide, as well as how to intervene when indicated. The program incorporates research specific to college students and suicide risk, utilizes a college student co-leader alongside a licensed psychologist, and maximizes discussion and role-play to support student learning and engagement. Method: The program was piloted with 65 undergraduate students and the results of the program are discussed. Results: Students who participated in the program reported increased feelings of suicide prevention competence both immediately after the training and at a 12-week follow-up. Additionally, students demonstrated increased knowledge about suicide and decreased stigma. Finally, students indicated high levels of acceptability of the program. Limitations: The lack of diversity and small sample size within this pilot should be addressed in future studies. Conclusion: This pilot study offers promising results for an efficient, college-student focused suicide prevention gatekeeper training program.