Monday, October 15, 2018
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Gatekeeper’s Training for Suicide Prevention

We noticed an alarming rise in the incidence of suicide and felt a great need to take action in preventing the same. Hence we designed a program (Gatekeeper’s Training for Suicide Prevention) through which we can build a network of “gatekeepers” and equip them with the knowledge and skills to identify and provide timely help to suicidal persons.

This is for you… Gatekeepers!

A Gatekeeper is someone who believes that suicide can be prevented at the community level and is willing to give time and energy for this cause. Gatekeepers could be teachers, parents, hostel wardens, police or lay counselors. Empowering the Gatekeepers with required knowledge and skills is a very important step in suicide prevention.

A peek into the training-module:

In this training module we involve only twenty participants per training program. It is very  brief (three hours), skills based, using  participatory approach, applying multiple methods (lecture cum discussion, role plays and video show,) using standardized case vignettes & standardized scale(SIRI) for pre and post assessment, conducted  by a multi disciplinary team (Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Nurse & Psychiatric Social Worker).

The training programme consists of three parts:

Part I – The training programme starts with a Strengths game in which participants are paired and given 10 minutes to identify strengths in each other (which is self reflective and reflecting the strength of their partners) and reflect back individual strengths even in a crisis situation. 

Part II -   Case Vignettes and Paired learning. Teaching assessment of risk and identifying level of risk for suicide in the form of role-play followed by feedback of client and gatekeeper.

Part III – Video enabled learning focuses on interventions, signposting and resource mobilization.

Structured Pre and post assessments are done using the Suicide Intervention Response Inventory (SIRI).

The training module empowers the Gatekeepers in identifying persons at risk for suicide, assessing suicidal risk, immediate intervention for suicidality and Signposting and resource mobilization in the community. It discusses the difficulties of the participants in suicide risk assessment and interventions when they do role plays. Thus, imparting hands on skills.

Three such first level training programs are conducted every alternate month and all the three groups are called for the advanced session.  In this advanced session, they would share their practical experiences and the difficulties in handling the suicidal person.  In this session, they are given even more difficult case scenarios and hands on training are imparted in handling the cases.

More than 500 gatekeepers have been trained using the current methodology since February 2013. A network of gate keepers has been formed at the national level.

This module is brief (Which is important for people with other roles); skill based; uses multiple training methods, easily replicable; encourages peer learning. This method is replicated in different set-ups and it is adapted by the Indian Air Force (Defense) as a teaching module for the mentors. The gatekeepers can approach the team members for any case management related to suicide prevention.

This program is conducted by a highly qualified and reputed Psychiatrist, a senior Psychiatric Nurse and a qualified Psychiatric Social Worker. 

 Facilitators: Prof Prabha S Chandra, Dr. V. Senthilkumar Reddi, D. Padmavathy, G. Ragesh