Background: Linking college students with mental health services is critical, especially now, as many students report increased mental health concerns and suicidal ideation in the wake of COVID-19. The Suicide Prevention for College Student (SPCS) Gatekeepers Program provides student education and training to help link those in need with appropriate services.
Aims: This study aimed to replicate and extend pilot study results by examining the effects of the training program across a larger, more diverse sample of students.
Method: As part of three SAMHSA Mental Health and Training Grants, the program was implemented across three college campuses over three years.
Results: At posttest, those who participated in the program demonstrated increased knowledge, suicide prevention self-efficacy, and decreased stigma towards suicide. A follow-up questionnaire revealed that students continued to demonstrate program gains 12 weeks after participating, but there was a slight decline in knowledge and self-efficacy between posttest and follow-up.
Limitations: Attrition at follow-up should be addressed in future research, and reliability and validity of measures should be further assessed.
Conclusion: This study provides support for the efficacy and generalizability of the SPCS Gatekeepers training program.