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Web-based Suicide Prevention Training for All School Staff

Gatekeeper Training


Research has shown that brief training for adults is effective at increasing their capacity to identify, support, and refer at-risk youth. Many people know how to perform CPR for heart attacks. Adults in schools should also know how to identify suicide warning signs and how to respond to a student who may be contemplating suicide. This type of workshop is often referred to as “Gatekeeper Training,” because people who get trained are able to work with students to get through a gateway to getting help. Through training, staff members understand that they do not need to be mental health professionals to help a student in crisis, nor do they increase the risk of suicide by asking if students have thought about hurting themselves. Once they know the simple steps, they reduce the likelihood of suicides in their students. This training is appropriate for all school staff, administrators, and volunteers. There are numerous ways to obtain training such as this. You can use the module (coming soon), or contact other trainers in Wisconsin who can come to your school to meet directly with your staff.

DPI’s Gatekeeper Training Module

An important step in protecting all students from the dangers of suicide is the ability to understand the context of youth suicide in Wisconsin, recognize the warning signs of suicide ideation, and take appropriate steps to keep a suicidal student safe. This new, interactive suicide prevention gatekeeper module is being piloted for schools and districts to use with their students and staff. The module takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and there is an opportunity to provide DPI with feedback on how to make the module more effective and user-friendly.

This brief module for all adults who work or volunteer in schools teaches a simple and effective skill for suicide prevention: ACT.
A = Acknowledge the signs and symptoms
C = show Care and Concern for the person
T = Tell someone who knows how to intervene (pupil services staff)

In this module, relevant data about youth suicide in Wisconsin is discussed along with risk factors, warning signs, and suggested methods for dealing with suicidal students including ACT: Acknowledge, Care, and Tell. ACT is a central skill taught in an evidence-based youth suicide prevention program called SOS-Signs of Suicide. SOS has been shown to reduce suicidal acts in youth. It is also an important skill for adults to know and be able to do.


Other Resources for Gatekeeper Training

For questions about this information, contact Gregg Curtis (608) 266-2820