Training Opportunities


Training in the below suicide prevention protocols can be provided at no cost to the local community. If interested in receiving training for suicide prevention contact the VCCC at ([email protected]) with TRAINING in the subject line.

Signs of suicide, Asking about suicide, Validating feelings, Encouraging help and Expediting treatment (SAVE)

S.A.V.E. is a one- to two-hour gatekeeper training program provided by VA suicide prevention coordinators to veterans and those who serve veterans. Optional role-playing exercises are included. S.A.V.E consists of the following five components:

  1. Brief overview of suicide in the veteran population
  2. Suicide myths and misinformation
  3. Risk factors for suicide
  4. Components of the S.A.V.E. model (Signs of suicide, Asking about suicide, Validating feelings, Encouraging help and Expediting treatment)

S.A.V.E. was developed by the Education Corps of the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention and consists of a PowerPoint presentation, training script, instructors guide and toolkit, pre- and post-evaluation instructions, evaluation forms, tracking sheets and S.A.V.E. brochures.

Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR)

QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention is a 1-2-hour educational program designed to teach lay and professional “gatekeepers” the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond. Gatekeepers can include anyone who is strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide (e.g., parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, caseworkers, police officers). The process follows three steps: (1) Question the individual’s desire or intent regarding suicide, (2) Persuade the person to seek and accept help, and (3) Refer the person to appropriate resources. Trainees receive a QPR booklet and wallet card as a review and resource tool that includes local referral resources.

The training is delivered in person by certified QPR gatekeeper instructors or online. Although the foundation for the QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention is the same for all audiences, the training can be customized for use with specific audiences in collaboration with the QPR Institute. Extended learning modules on specific topics are available to complement the basic 1–2-hour course.

Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)

C-SSRS is a suicidal ideation and behavior rating scale created by researchers at Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, and New York University to evaluate suicide risk. It rates an individual’s degree of suicidal ideation on a scale, ranging from “wish to be dead” to “active suicidal ideation with specific plan and intent and behaviors.” Questions are phrased for use in an interview format, but the C-SSRS may be completed as a self-report measure if necessary. The scale identifies specific behaviors which may be indicative of an individual’s intent to complete suicide. An individual exhibiting even a single behavior identified by the scale was 8 to 10 times more likely to complete suicide.

Training Locations

We can provide a suitable training location, or we can have trainers conduct training at a location of your choosing. 

Web Training

Columbia Lighthouse Project C-SSRS Training (90 minutes). Free Training with certificate.