Gatekeeper Training Course for Suicide Prevention

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported 1,70,924 deaths by suicide in 2022, an increase of 4.2% since 2021. India’s suicide rate is currently 12.4 for 100,000 population – the highest in the last decade. For every suicide, it is estimated that there are 4 to 20 attempted suicides.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends ‘Gatekeeper Training’ as an evidence- and community-based approach to suicide prevention.

A Gatekeeper is someone who:

  • creates awareness and reduces stigma around suicides,
  • provides informal emotional support, and
  • helps connect persons at risk of suicide with appropriate support services

The Gatekeeper Training Course for Suicide Prevention, developed by the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, is based on WHO’s mhGAP (Mental Health Gap Action Programme) Intervention Guide for Self-harm/ Suicide. It has been adapted by SPIRIT (Suicide Prevention & Implementation Research Initiative) specifically for community gatekeepers.

This is an ONLINE course and the medium of instruction is English.

Please note: This course is meant to enhance your capacity for providing informal suicide prevention support to any person in your community. This course does not equip, qualify, certify, or recognize you as a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, counselor or any other mental health professional for providing clinical, diagnostic or therapeutic services to persons with mental health issues.  

This course may create psychological discomfort or trigger difficult feelings. Please apply after assessing your capacity and readiness to engage with the course themes.

Who is this course for

The course is suitable for persons who regularly engage with people within their communities.

Individuals in different roles such as teachers, media professionals, religious leaders, peers, caregivers or anyone who is motivated to provide suicide prevention support can apply for this course.

Please note: While the course is not restricted to only Indian residents, the content is relatable and relevant for participants from low-middle income countries with similar contexts as India.

Learning Outcomes

After this course, participants will have the ability to:

  • Understand concepts, myths and facts related to suicide prevention
  • Understand the role of Gatekeepers
  • Identify, assess, support, refer, and follow up with persons at risk of suicide
  • Practice self-care techniques while supporting persons at risk of suicide
Duration & Schedule

This is a 20-hour online course divided over 5 weekends.

Classes will be conducted on Saturdays and Sundays between 10 AM to 1 PM IST.

After 4 weeks, a 2-hour group check-in session will be scheduled to understand participants’ experiences in applying the skills learnt during the course, and address any questions or challenges they may have faced.


Course Structure
  • Facilitated by experts: The course will be facilitated by experts in the field of suicide prevention
  • Participative sessions: The course will engage participants through interactive activities such as case studies and discussions
  • Skill-based learning: To help participants apply concepts learnt in real-life situations, the course will make use of role plays
  • Course material: Participants will be provided with additional reading material and summary sheets to supplement the online sessions


Module 1: Introduction to Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention

  • Context of suicides in India
  • Role of gatekeepers in suicide prevention

Module 2: Introduction to Mental Health Problems

  • What is mental health?
  • Understanding stress, distress & mental disorders in the context of suicide
  • Identifying common signs of mental disorders

Module 3: Introduction to Suicide

  • Concepts and terminology related to suicide
  • Debunking myths around suicide
  • Risk and protective factors of suicide

Module 4: Essential Communication Skills

  • Building rapport with a person in distress
  • Essential communication skills
  • Maintaining confidentiality

Module 5: Assessing Risk of Suicide

  • Identifying warning signs of suicide
  • How to assess risk of suicide by asking questions
  • How to respond after risk assessment

Module 6: Supporting persons at risk of suicide

  • How to provide emotional support
  • Safety planning
  • De-escalation techniques

Module 7: Referrals & Follow-up

  • How to make referrals
  • Providing psychosocial support
  • Follow-up

Module 8: Self-care techniques

  • How to set personal boundaries
  • Practicing self-care techniques

Participants who successfully complete the course with 100% attendance will receive a certificate of completion.

Application Process & Fee

Participants are required to apply online using the application form.

The course batch is limited to 15 participants. These will be shortlisted based on their application form.

Entry requirements
Open to any person above 18 years and interested in suicide prevention.

While the course is not restricted to only Indian residents, the content is relatable and relevant for participants from low-middle income countries with similar contexts as India.


INR 5000 + 18% GST (INR 5900/-)

If you would need a fee waiver, please write to us at [email protected] specifying how much of a waiver you require. Please note we have limited waivers available and may not be able to accommodate all requests for this batch.