Publication Details

Deane, F. P., Capp, K., Jones, C., de Ramirez, D., Lambert, G., Marlow, B. M., Rees, A. & Sullivan, E. (2006). Two year follow-up of a community gatekeeper suicide prevention program in an Aboriginal community. The Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 12 (1), 33-36.


Few studies report long term follow-up of community gatekeeper training programs that aim to facilitate help-seeking for suicide and there are none in Aboriginal communities. This study aimed to determine long term effects of the Shoalhaven Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Program (SASPP), which used community gatekeeper training as its primary strategy. Following consultation with the Aboriginal community, a brief questionnaire and semi-structured interview was completed by 40 participants who attended a community gatekeeper workshop 2 years earlier. Fifteen of the 40 participants stated that they had helped someone at risk of suicide over the 2-year follow-up period. Intentions to help and confidence to identify someone at risk of suicide remained high. A significant relationship was found between intentions to help prior to the workshop and whether participants had actually helped someone at risk of suicide. Correlations suggested a link between intentions to help, and subsequent help provision. However, it is unclear whether workshop attendance contributed to this effect. Future prevention programs need to be customised to specific Aboriginal communities to reduce barriers to helpseeking behaviour.



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