223407 Suicide prevention online training module: An innovative approach using university peer gatekeepers

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rajiv Ramdeo, BS, MPHc , Health Education Center, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA
Ellen Reibling, PhD , Health Education Center, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA
Issues: Suicide ranks third in mortality rates among persons aged 15-24 in the United States. About 75% of those who commit suicide show warning signs prior to the act. These statistics and more support suicide as a high priority concern for public health agencies including university health services.

Description: Through a novel interactive online training, this social network intervention aims to improve the self-efficacy of peer gatekeepers in effectively mediating emotionally distressed students. At universities peer gatekeepers (teaching assistants, resident assistants, etc.) are a key population which professionally and personally interacts with a diverse body of students. The training prepares gatekeepers to effectively manage challenging situations. Video clips of realistic scenarios are presented alongside general knowledge about resources, signs of distress, and the importance of mental health awareness. Throughout the training, specific and open ended questions are presented for reinforcement. A supplemental website is also provided for additional scenario videos and information.

Lessons Learned: A community based participatory research design was helpful for informing the intervention. Gatekeepers provided valuable insight for an appealing and useful intervention. The seriousness of presented scenarios was recommended as an important factor to gatekeepers. They also indicated the appreciation of the supplemental website that they could refer to for specific cases in addition to the training

Recommendations: At the time of submission of this abstract (Feb. 2010) we do not have more specific data to report on. By Nov. 2010 the intervention would have been implemented and a more detailed evaluation will be conducted.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Design an innovative online training module for university peer gatekeepers to promote mental health awareness and prevent suicide. Compare efficacy of traditional text-focused training modules with this visual-focused one.

Keywords: Mental Health, Suicide

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project coordinator.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.