Does gatekeeper training prevent suicide in young people?

Suicide is the leading underlying cause of death among young Australians aged 15 to 24 years and accounted for one-third of deaths (33.9%) in this age group in 2015. While the majority of young people experiencing suicidal thoughts or engaging in self-harm do not seek professional help, they do seek help from informal sources of support in their social networks. Therefore, up-skilling the people that regularly come into contact with young people in the community, such as teachers, school personnel or peers (collectively referred to as “gatekeepers”) is a focus of many suicide-prevention strategies.

This research bulletin summarises findings from recent literature on the evidence for gatekeeper training programs and identifies opportunities to advance our understanding of the contribution of gatekeeper training to increasing help-seeking and reducing suicidal behaviours in young people.