Faculty Publications

Publication Date



Mental and Social Health


Although the college years prove to be a vulnerable time for students and a critical period for suicide prevention, few school-based prevention strategies have been empirically evaluated. The current study examined the short-term effects of QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer), a gatekeeper training program that teaches how to recognize warning signs, question suicidal intent, listen to problems, and refer for help. The 122 residence advisers (RAs) who were trained in QPR demonstrated significant post-training gains across a variety of domains relevant to suicide and suicide prevention, with the 60 completing the follow-up assessment showing sustained knowledge and appraisals into the following semester. Although these gains were generally more substantial for RAs trained in QPR, 86 controls who completed both baseline and follow-up assessments also demonstrated changes in appraisals relevant to suicide and suicide prevention, despite having not received QPR training. The need for replication, policy implications, and suggestions for a multifaceted approach to suicide prevention within the college setting are discussed.

Document Type

Accepted Version


This article is the author-created version that incorporates referee comments. It is the accepted-for-publication version. The content of this version may be identical to the published version (the version of record) save for value-added elements provided by the publisher (e.g., copy editing, layout changes, or branding consistent with the rest of the publication).


The final publication is available at http://www.springerlink.com

Original Citation

Tanya L. Tompkins & Jody Witt
The short-term effectiveness of a suicide prevention gatekeeper training program in a college setting with residence life advisers.
Journal of Primary Prevention, 2009, volume 30, issue 2, pages 131-149



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