School-Wide Staff and Faculty Training in Suicide Risk Awareness: Successes and Challenges

Authors

  • Elaine Walsh PhD, RN,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    • Reconnecting Youth Prevention Research Program, Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA, USA
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  • Carole Hooven PhD,

    Research Assistant Professor
    1. Reconnecting Youth Prevention Research Program, Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA, USA
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  • Barbara Kronick LCSW

    Director
    1. Integrated Support Services, Sacramento City Unified School District, Sacramento, CA, USA
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  • This research was supported by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, grant number 5R21HD058164.

Author contact:

emwalsh@uw.edu, with a copy to the Editor: kathleen_r_delaney@rush.edu

Abstract

Problem

Rates of youth suicide and suicidal behavior remain high despite prevention efforts. Training high school personnel as gatekeepers is an important strategy.

Methods

Training was implemented in a school district's five comprehensive high schools. Surveys were conducted before and after training sessions, which targeted all adults working at the high school. Two hundred thirty-seven individuals completed the pretest and/or posttest.

Findings

Participants reported gains in knowledge, confidence, and feelings of competence in recognizing, approaching, and connecting distressed youth to school-based resources. Training was well received.

Conclusion

Training is acceptable and appropriate for school personnel. Increasing the number of school personnel who participate in the training is challenging.

Ancillary