The Importance of Teaching Suicidal Prevention Strategies to Gatekeepers
Pp. 1-31 (31)
The purpose of this current book was to add to what is already scientifically
and experientially known, about the important role that gatekeepers play in suicide
prevention. A gatekeeper is defined as a person, who due to the type of work they are
involved in, may come into contact with persons who are at risk of suicide. The
therapeutic relationship between the gatekeeper and suicidal person was presented as
key to helping the suicidal person. Instillation of hope was also promoted because,
while persons who are suicidal are in the midst of their despair they cannot see clearly.
They may therefore, benefit from a gatekeeper helping them to re-discover their hope.
Some hard facts about suicide on a global level were reviewed. It was pointed out that
suicide is a complex issue and never occurs in isolation. Therefore, taking into
consideration relevant issues that either contribute to, or are associated with suicide
were discussed, such as social stressors and cultural issues. Religion was identified as a
potential protective factor against suicide. Reasons were given in support of doing
more to train gatekeepers. The ethic of care was presented as the theoretical premise for
this book and both the ethic of care and empathy were introduced as a tool for suicide
prevention. Quantitative and qualitative research were acknowledged as important in
enhancing what we know about suicide prevention. This current manuscript draws
quite significantly from evidence based data that is quantitative and qualitative. Two
modes of qualitative methodologies were utilized to specifically analyze the case
studies presented in this book, the narrative case study approach and the psychological
autopsy. In this current Chapter, key themes were identified from the narrative case
study of a suicidal person who was admitted to the Emergency Room (ER). Placing a
suicidal person is a secure room for a lengthy period of time may increase their sense
of being alone, and perceived neglect from a gatekeeper may be interpreted by the
suicidal person as a lack of care. It was advised that when caregivers do not act in
empathetic ways, instead of being self-critical, they must strive to be more selfcompassionate.
We were made aware of some of the ethical issues associated with
caring for the suicidal person. For example, it was established that there is a risk of
clinicians experiencing a violation of their moral agency, or their ability to act on their
own moral beliefs.
Adverse life experiences, Autonomy, Beneficence, Culture, Emergency
room, Empathy, Ethical dilemma, Ethic of care, Ethic of justice, Ethnicity, Ethics,
Gatekeeper, Hope, Methodology, Moral agency, Moral dis-engagement, Moral residue,
Narrative case study, Non-maleficence, Occupation, Philosophy, Psychological autopsy,
Qualitative research, Quantitative study, Recovery models, Religion, Resiliency, Secure
room, Self-compassion, Sexual prejudice, Social stressors, Spirituality, Suicide,
Suicidology, Suicidologist, Transgender.
Faculty of Health Sciences, Douglas College,BC, Canada.