IASP is implementing Gatekeeper Training Programme in rural communities in Andhra Pradesh, where suicide rates are some of the highest in India. Gatekeeper Training is a sustainable initiative that extends knowledge, skills and practical application throughout communities and raises awareness of suicide risks and prevention. Early identification of suicide risk is crucial for suicide prevention; many people at high risk of suicide often do not seek help though recognizable risk factors exist.
Every year, suicide one of the top 20 causes of death globally. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths; equal to one suicide every 40 seconds. India has the highest number of suicides globally (WHO 2014, Suicide Prevention). Andhra Pradesh, one of India's largest southern states, has the 3rd highest rate of suicide. Poverty, low income and volatile crop yields mean that farmers and women in rural communities are most at risk of suicide, leaving loved ones, families and communities behind.
Gatekeepers are local people with front line roles (teachers, health workers, police officers etc) who undertake training to recognise vulnerable people at risk of suicide and direct them towards appropriate support. IASP and our partner in Khammam, Andhra Pradesh will train 50 community gatekeepers. 10 participants will be identified to train as trainers. This is the first step in creating a sustainable and expanding network of support for people and communities encountering suicidal behaviour.
We aim to reduce instances of suicide and suicidal behaviour in Andhra Pradesh by raising awareness of suicide and empowering communities with the skills and knowledge to address suicidal behaviour locally. Gatekeeper Training is known as a key component of multi-level suicide prevention programmes and Gatekeepers are a huge resource in helping a community provide support to those at risk. Further training for local trainers strengthens and sustains our project and communities long term.