University of Vermont

College of Education and Social Sciences

Doctoral Programs in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Maria Mercedes Avila: Evaluating the Efficacy of Youth Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Trainings: Implications for School Personnel and Health and Mental Health Service Providers (2013-11-13)

Avila, Maria Mercedes | Waterman 427A | 2013-11-13 | 4:30 p.m.

The purpose of this mixed methods sequential explanatory study was to identify factors contributing to providers’ and community members’ suicidality attitude and knowledge changes in Vermont communities by obtaining quantitative results (pre- and post-training evaluations) from surveying youth suicide prevention gatekeeper training participants (n=316); and then following up with purposefully selected respondents (n=16) in two Vermont communities to explore those results in more depth via focus group interviews. In the first, quantitative phase, findings show significant changes in knowledge and attitude from pre to post training. In the qualitative follow up phase analysis five major themes emerged: (1) Community Characteristics Impacting Youth, (2) Barriers to Accessing Mental Health Services, (3) Benefits of the Youth Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training, (4) Changes Resulting from the Youth Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training, and (5) Additional Supports Needed for At-Risk Youth. The quantitative and qualitative findings from the two phases of the study are discussed with reference to prior research in a third phase. Implications and recommendations for future research are provided.

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