Gatekeeper Training To Improve Mental Health Care and Prevent Suicide


eMediNexus    09 January 2023

Andhra Pradesh: For the first time in India, the state government has launched a project called EASE (emotional assessment of students by educators) to prevent suicides among young people. The major aim of the program is to improve mental health and reduce the number of suicides. The World Health Organization as well as the Union government have recommended the gatekeeper program in their recent National Suicide Prevention Strategy (NSPS).


The state health department, in collaboration with the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and the Suicide Prevention India Foundation (SPIF), has decided to train 3 lakh educators in the QPR model under the program. Dr. N. Vasudeva Reddy, NRI affairs, stated that the project will be rolled out in pilot bases in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, and Tirupati.


Suicide Prevention India Foundation (SPIF) founder and director Nelson Vino Moses explained that the gatekeepers are trained to pick up early signs of people having suicidal tendencies. They detect the tendencies by having a conversation with them, providing emotional support, and persuading them to get help. This can prevent the majority of suicides.


He stated that under the program, about 150 master trainers will be trained first, after which the program will be extended to nodal teachers and consequently to other educators. Additionally, first-year medical students will also be trained under this project, along with 140 telecounselors who may reach out to the victims at the last minute. Doctors and mental health professionals will also be a part of the program. 


(Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/visakhapatnam/andhra-to-launch-gatekeeper-training-to-improve-mental-health-prevent-suicides/articleshowprint/96825004.cms?val=3728 )

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