Evaluation of a Peer-Led Implementation of a Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training Program for College Students

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Background: Research on models of implementation that enable widespread dissemination of suicide prevention to young adults is needed to address the critical public health issue of suicide among young adults. A peer-to-peer implementation approach may increase widespread dissemination of suicide prevention on college campuses. Aims: The current study involved the evaluation of a peer-led implementation of the evidence-based program Question, Persuade, and Refer Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention (QPR). Method: A total of 161 college students attended one of eight QPR implementations conducted by student peer educators certified as QPR trainers. Questionnaires were administered at pretest and posttest to assess knowledge of suicide, likelihood of intervening with someone suicidal, and self-efficacy to intervene with someone suicidal. Results: Results from a series of paired-samples t tests showed significant increases from pretest to posttest on the three outcomes of interest – knowledge of suicide, self-efficacy to intervene with someone suicidal, and likelihood to intervene with someone suicidal. Limitations: The short time frame of the current study is a limitation. Conclusion: Support for a peer-led model of implementation for college students has critical implications in terms of increasing the capacity for widespread dissemination of suicide prevention efforts on college campuses.


Published online: December 20, 2019.

Karen Flanagan is the Peer Education Coordinator in the Counseling Center, Hamilton Wellness Center at Sacred Heart University.



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