Becoming a Gatekeeper: Why It’s Important and How to Get Trained

What is a gatekeeper?

A gatekeeper is a person who has direct contact with community members as a part of their regular routine and who is trained to identify the warning signs of suicide and refer those in need to supportive services.

Why are gatekeepers important?

According to SAVE, someone takes their life own life every 10.9 minutes in the United States, and for every death, there are 25 attempts. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Georgia, per the CDC. This data points to the fact that suicide is a serious problem affecting our communities. Gatekeepers can be the difference between life and death.

Family and friends are often the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide and can take the first step in getting help. Anyone can become a gatekeeper.

How can I become a gatekeeper?

You can become a gatekeeper from home at any time with these online courses:

  1. QPR Institute – QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. The QPR Online Gatekeeper Training is taught in a clear, concise format using the latest in educational technology and practices. The course takes approximately one hour to complete.
  2. LivingWorks – LivingWorks programs are designed to span a continuum of safety skills. In as little as one hour online, LivingWorks Start can teach anyone to recognize the signs of suicide and take life-saving action by connecting someone to hope and support. LivingWorks safeTALK and ASIST trainings provide more in-depth information and are completed in-person.
  3. Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) – CALM is a free online course provided by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to teach how to reduce access to the methods people use to kill themselves (such as firearms and medication). It covers who needs lethal means counseling and how to work with people at risk for suicide—and their families—to reduce access. The course takes approximately 2 hours to complete.


GUIDE offers both in-person and virtual suicide prevention training events, and we also frequently promote training opportunities provided by our partners. Click below for more information.

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