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Oregon State University Counseling & Psychological Services hopes to reduce the amount of suicides by students, currently the second leading cause of death for ages 10-34, by hosting suicide prevention trainings. 

Gatekeeper Training is an interactive suicide prevention workshop for students, staff and faculty. The next training is being Wednesday. This training is obligatory for University Housing & Dining Services housing staff, including students and professional staff, but is open to all students. This program was implemented to increase awareness about suicide, and teach students to help people around them who may be considering suicide.

In 2017, the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 was suicide. There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510), according to the National Institute of Mental Health. 

The Gatekeeper Training aims to teach people about the impacts of suicide nationwise and here at OSU, how to identify the signs and symptoms of emotional distress, and how to help or intervene if someone is considering suicide, according to the Counseling & Psychological Services website.

According to Tess Webster-Henry, mental health promotion coordinator, the attendance of gatekeeper trainings vary. “Sometimes we have upwards of 30-40 people. Other times it can be less than 10. We offer the open gatekeepers trainings on a regular basis, twice every term and by request for student groups and campus departments.”

The gatekeeper training is not obligatory for members of sororities or fraternities, but it is strongly encouraged to take the program. 

“The program isn’t required, but it’s encouraged and promoted to members of the community. Individual chapters and individual members can take advantage of this training as offered by Counseling & Psychological Services,” Leslie Schacht Drey, assistant dean of Student Life & Director of the Center for Fraternity & Sorority said in an email. 

Schacht Drey said suicide prevention is an important topic due to its impact on campus life.

“The Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life promotes and supports the programs and services provided by Counseling & Psychological Services. Suicide prevention is a critical topic on a college campus,” Schacht Drey said in an email.

The next Gatekeeper Training will take place Wednesday, Oct. 16 noon-1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union, room 206. This training is open to all Oregon State University students.

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