Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention: A Theoretical Model and Review of the Empirical Literature.
PURPOSE This study evaluates whether a short training program can improve nurses' abilities to recognize and effectively respond to patients exhibiting suicidal behavior. DESIGN AND METHODS The study is a randomized controlled trial. Ninety-eight nurses in the experimental group attended the regular monthly continuing education class and a 90-min Gatekeeper Suicide-Awareness Program. Ninety-seven nurses in the control group only attended the regular monthly continuing education class. Before and after the different educational interventions, all the nurses were asked to complete a questionnaire to link demographic data and to access their awareness of suicide warning signs and their responses if encountering a potentially suicidal individual. FINDINGS Nurses who participated in the Gatekeeper Suicide-Awareness Program were much more aware of suicide warning signs and more willing to refer patients for professional counseling. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS We suggest that nursing personnel's continuing education include a training program for suicide prevention.