Establish a network of adults and youth in every community who can recognize and respond to youth exhibiting signs of suicide risk and can assist them in getting professional help.
While broad-based screening programs help identify at-risk youth who might otherwise escape detection, PSN also recognizes that gatekeeper programs play a crucial role in providing continuous vigilance by ensuring that people who have regular contact with youth are trained to recognize warning signs of risk and to appropriately intervene. Gatekeeper programs help train front-line professionals and community members—such as teachers, school staff, parents, and community program personnel—to:
- Recognize behavioral patterns and other warning signs that indicate that a young person may be at risk of suicide.
- Actively intervene by talking with the young person in ways that explore the level of risk without increasing it.
- Ensure that young people at risk receive the necessary services (How Schools Can Prevent Suicide, 2006, National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention).
- “Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)” program training given to all school psychologists and guidance counselors.
- Santa Clara County Office of Education committed to providing QPR Training for Trainers. PAUSD has committed to send a number of individuals to become trainers so that ongoing training of District personnel is assured.
- All City staff in the City Community Services Department that work with teens have been trained in QPR. The QPR training will become an ongoing training within the Department.