Expanding community capacity: Empowering non-clinical gatekeepers to respond to persons in suicide crisis
Michael J. Polacek, DNP, RN, PMH-BC, NPD-BC
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Suicide is a leading cause of death and rates continue to rise despite focused efforts by policymakers. A family member, friend, or peer often plays a key role in initially identifying, rescuing, and then supporting ongoing recovery efforts of someone at risk for suicide. Preparation is provided through suicide prevention gatekeeper training such as QPR, yet this partner of direct professional service providers often lacks adequate support to effectively perform gatekeeper behaviors leading to the research question, “Does virtual café support effective gatekeeper behaviors?” The project uses a mixed-method approach to determine if a focused discussion group using The World Café method can improve perceived gatekeeper self-efficacy in performing QPR behaviors and what barriers exist that may prevent those behaviors. Seven adults previously trained in QPR, but not mental health professionals participated in this online Zoom café. Participants self-completed the 5-item Brief Suicide Intervention Tool before and after the session found an improvement in perceived selfefficacy. The qualitative data illuminated considerable barriers faced by gatekeepers and those in crisis. The limited sample size of 7 was insufficient to support causality between the café and increased self-efficacy. Three themes emerged from the qualitative data with a strong emphasis on inadequate resources for those in need of services. Other themes were community and service providers were inadequately prepared and that virtual cafes were beneficial. This pilot project showed promise as a potential supplement to QPR and as a tool for policymakers in conducting gap analysis for suicide prevention strategies.
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|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Research Approach||Mixed/Multi Method Research|
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