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Pennsylvania Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition

AOASPC is a resource, not a hotline or counseling center

In Crisis? Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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For Community Organizations

qpr-box.gifOur most popular service for community organizations is QPR Gatekeeper Training:

Three simple steps that can save a life are Question, Persuade, and Refer.

To view Postvention Guidelines, click here.

People trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, to offer hope and to refer someone to help, often saving their life.


A gatekeeper is someone in the position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide.


Gatekeepers include parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, ministers, doctors, nurses, office supervisors, home health care workers, squad leaders, foremen, police officers, advisors, caseworkers, nursing home staff,  fire fighters and many others who are strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide.


QPR Gatekeeper training can be learned in as little as an hour, however most trainings run at least 90 minutes. The training can also be expanded to include other topics such as self- harm, depression, and can be tailored for specific populations or professions.

Limit of 25 participants per training.

To schedule a training and discuss fees, click here and choose "Training" in the drop down menu.

Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk: Core Competencies for Mental Health Professionals: SPRC, in partnership with the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), developed a one-day competencies-based curriculum for mental health professionals on assessing suicide risk, planning treatment, and managing the ongoing care of the at-risk client. Components include:

  • Pre-workshop reading (about 20 pages)
  • 6.5 hours of face-to-face training, comprised of an engaging mixture of lecture and exercises
  • Training DVD in eight segments, highlighting competencies taught. Four of the segments are “live” demonstrations of a clinical interview between master clinician and researcher, David Jobes, Ph.D., and a professional actor.
  • Over 110 pages of Participant Manual with an extensive bibliography organized by subject.
  • Journaling spread through the day, allowing participants to reflect on their reactions to the course and to set goals for improving their practice and studying the topic further.
  • Q & A and discussion.
  • Awarding of CEUs (determined individually at each delivery site).


To schedule a training, click here and choose "Training" in the drop down menu.



ASIST: ASIST is a two-day intensive, interactive and practice-dominated course designed to help caregivers recognize risk and learn how to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. The workshop is for all caregivers (any person in a position of trust). This includes professionals, paraprofessionals and lay people. It is suitable for mental health professionals, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, teachers, counselors, youth workers, police and correctional staff, school support staff, clergy, and community volunteers. ASIST has five learning sections:

  • Preparing: sets the tone, norms, and expectations of the learning experience.
  • Connecting: sensitizes participants to their own attitudes towards suicide. Creates an understanding of the impact which attitudes have on the intervention process.
  • Understanding: overviews the intervention needs of a person at risk. It focuses on providing participants with the knowledge and skills to recognize risk and develop safeplans to reduce the risk of suicide.
  • Assisting: presents a model for effective suicide intervention. Participants develop their skills through observation and supervised simulation experiences in large and small groups.
  • Networking: generates information about resources in the local community. Promotes a commitment by participants to transform local resources into helping networks.


To schedule a training, click here and choose "Training" in the drop down menu.



Strategic Planning for Suicide Prevention: Core Competencies was developed by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC).

  • Participants will enhance their leadership and collaboration skills, and in line with The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, be able to collect and present suicide-related data and information; implement suicide prevention programs in their communities; and determine the effectiveness of programs they implement. Participants also will increase their comfort and ability to communicate effectively about suicide and suicide prevention.


To schedule a training, click here and choose "Training" in the drop down menu.



QPR Gatekeeper Trainer Certification Course --This certification course trains Instructors to teach QPR for Suicide Prevention to their community. Participants first learn about the nature of suicidal communications, what forms these communications take and how they may be used as the stimulus for a QPR intervention. To gain perspective, participants are introduced to the history of suicide, suicide prevention and the spectrum of modern day public health suicide prevention education efforts. The history, background and research support for QPR are reviewed. Participants then learn to market QPR, target potential Gatekeepers, and how to teach the QPR curriculum. Participants also learn to deal with pent up audience demand to talk about suicide, survivor issues and how to make immediate interventions and referrals. Each participant has the opportunity for individual rehearsal and practice through role-plays.


To schedule a training, click here and choose "Training" in the drop down menu.



Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. This 8-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. Mental Health First Aid is included on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Like CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help. First Aiders do not take on the role of professionals — they do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers key questions, like “what do I do?” and “where can someone find help?” Certified Mental Health First Aid instructors provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups, and online tools.


Youth Mental Health First Aid is an 8 hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

The course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, participants learn to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying a core five-step action plan:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

The Youth Mental Health First Aid USA curriculum is primarily focused on information participants can use to help adolescents and transition-age youth, ages 12-18.

The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents (teachers, school staff, coaches, youth group leaders, parents, etc.), but is being tested for appropriateness within older adolescent groups (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction.


Please contact us for pricing and for more information or to schedule a training.


We also offer presentations on depression, self-harm, suicide, and other topics by request.


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