“Gatekeepers ‘open the gate’ to help for people at risk of suicide”
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) provides gatekeeper training based on the premise that people at risk of suicide or self-harm often do not actively seek help, but that they can be identified through increased awareness of risk factors and warning signs. The term “gatekeeper” refers to individuals within health care and community services whose contact with potentially vulnerable populations provides an opportunity to identify at-risk individuals and direct them to appropriate assessment and treatment.
A Gatekeeper within a community may be an individual who works within health and community-based services who is in a position to identify people at risk of suicide by recognising risk factors for suicide. Early identification of suicide risk is crucial in order to prevent self-harm and is the starting point of suicide prevention.
Communities play a crucial role in suicide prevention. In all countries, particularly those with limited resources, the importance of communities and their support programmes in suicide prevention cannot be overstated. Social support within communities can help protect vulnerable persons from suicide by building and improving social connectedness and skills to cope with difficulties.
IASP’s Gatekeeper Training, which began in 2013, together with our Train the Trainer initiative, are part of the foundation of IASP’s community-based activities and are aimed at equipping individuals within health and community based services who may be able to identify people at risk of suicide by recognising risk factors for suicide. Gatekeeper training has taken place in Kenya, Namibia, Slovenia, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.
IASP is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on GlobalGiving to initiate a comprehensive 2-year Gatekeeper Training Programme in Andhra Pradesh, India. Please click on the sidebar to find out more and support us!
Please click here to sign up for updates on World Suicide Prevention Day 2019, the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the IASP’s Gatekeepers Training Program.