Broadly defined, gatekeepers are those individuals who are in regular contact with students and as a result of that contact, they are in position to assist in identifying and referring students in crisis to the appropriate mental health resources. On a college campus gatekeepers may include, but are not limited to: residence life staff, health center staff, academic advisors, career counselors, faculty, campus police, and recognized student leaders such as sorority/fraternity counsel members or club presidents.
Research has demonstrated that approximately eighty percent of college students who died by suicide were not previously known to college mental health service providers. The goal of gatekeeper training is to develop a network of individuals within the community to assist in identifying and supporting students in crisis and referring them to the appropriate mental health resources. Increasing the utilization and effectiveness of gatekeeper training is one of the priorities included in the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the JED Foundation suggests that gatekeeper training is an important element for a comprehensive campus suicide prevention program.
Campus environment factors (e.g., support, resources, and policies) are crucial elements in determining the success of a gatekeeper training program as well as an overall suicide prevention program. Please see the readiness checklist for a review of the factors you should consider prior to implementing gatekeeper training.
Campus Connect was specifically designed for the college/university community and can be employed with a wide variety of audiences. If you decide to employ Campus Connect on your campus, we will provide consultation regarding how to most effectively implement Campus Connect with various audiences.
Yes, Campus Connect can absolutely be implemented with faculty. Consultation will be provided to assist you in effective implementation strategies with this important target audience.
The role of trainer should be reserved for those individuals with a background and/or training in the provision of mental health services. In most cases campus mental health providers or advanced graduate students in mental health programs can appropriately serve as Campus Connect trainers.
Yes. Using a pre-training/post-training design, research assessments conducted at Syracuse University have demonstrated a significant increase in gatekeepers’ knowledge, skills, and comfort in responding to students in crisis as a result of participating in a Campus Connect gatekeeper training. Please see our research summary page for additional details.
Your trainers will need a Campus Connect training manual to conduct gatekeeper training programs; this manual is provided to each person that participates in the train-the-trainer session.
Yes, you can do this. However, given the experiential nature of the train-the-trainer session, we limit participation to twenty-five people.
Since it was designed specifically for the college/university community, Campus Connect incorporates and addresses issues related to national trends in college mental health and prepares both trainers and gatekeepers to address suicide prevention issues that are specific to the college student population. Additionally, research conducted at Syracuse University supports the program’s effectiveness and Campus Connect is included on the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry.