As the implementation of the Maine suicide prevention law requiring suicide awareness and prevention education for all school personnel moves forward, many schools are also considering what is being taught to students. As part of that implementation, each school is required to have at least two Gatekeeper trained staff and it is recommended each district have two Training of the Trainer (TOT) staff to offer these awareness trainings each year for new staff and as needed in order to maintain compliance.
The Maine Suicide Prevention Program collaborated with national experts in suicide prevention to create a full day Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training as well as a half day Trainer of the Trainer program. NAMI Maine, the Maine Suicide Prevention Program’s training contractor, is offering these trainings across the state this fall to help provide schools access to this important information. Sessions will be held in various regions to accommodate Maine’s geographically dispersed population.
Gatekeeper training is a full-day session and is the foundation of the Maine Suicide Prevention Program (MSPP). This is a pre-requisite to the MSPP school-based curriculum training and the Training of Trainers. It provides a deep overview of suicide in Maine and the U.S., and teaches basic intervention and resources for response. It also meets the criteria for a Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper training for school staff.
After individuals are Gatekeeper trained, they are qualified to attend a TOT session that is a four-hour program available to prepare them to facilitate a 60-90 minute suicide prevention awareness session for co-workers, school staff, and/or other community members. Materials are provided for preparing, planning, and conducting the sessions. Having trained presenters is an excellent way for a school district to ensure awareness training for their staff.