Life Saving Suicide Awareness Training Empowers Faculty and Academic Support Personnel

Recognizing the need to address the pressing mental health concerns and foster a safe and supportive learning environment, a seminar-workshop titled “RACE Against Suicide: A Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention in School” was held on November 23, 2023 at the Audio Visual Theater and via zoom.

The joint effort of the Guidance and Testing Center and the Human Resource Department aimed to equip faculty and academic support personnel with the necessary tools and knowledge to identify, intervene and prevent suicide. It also served as a platform to bring together LPU community with the objectives of promoting good health and well-being (SDG 3) and reducing mental health inequalities (SDG 10).

By investing in the training program, the University demonstrates its commitment to improving the care and safety provided to its stakeholders and reflects the holistic approach towards mental health in the educational institution towards realizing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This ensures a comprehensive and cohesive strategy in addressing mental health concerns within the school community.

Trained suicide gatekeepers from the Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association-Cavite Chapter headed by Mr. Jose Royce P. Aledia, RGC, PGCA-Cavite President, together with Ms. Jezreel C. Del Espiritu Santo, RGC, Ms. Virgimin R. Panganiban, LPT, RGC, and Mr. Earl Sanderson G. Tibayan, RGC were the resource speakers.

Throughout the training, participants were educated on various aspects of suicide prevention, including understanding the warning signs, appropriate communication strategies, and referral procedures. Additionally, attendees were provided with valuable insights from mental health professionals, with a focus on cultivating an environment of empathy, understanding, and support.

By empowering faculty and academic support personnel, the University can establish a network of caring individuals who can identify the warning signs of distress and intervene effectively. This not only saves lives but also provides a vital support system for struggling students and colleagues.

Integrating gatekeeper training for suicide prevention into the University cultivates social responsibility and serves as a reminder that nurturing a mentally healthy environment is a collective responsibility. It underscores the importance of fostering a culture of open communication and support, wherein the well-being of every individual is valued and prioritized.

As the participants of the training bring their newly acquired knowledge into practice, students and colleagues alike can find solace in knowing that there are dedicated gatekeepers within the school community, ready to lend a helping hand and provide the necessary support during times of distress. The training for suicide prevention marks a significant step towards promoting mental health and well-being in school. With a united and informed team of gatekeepers, the University is better equipped to prevent tragedies, reduce stigma, offer support, and ultimately save lives.