Staff Trainings and Prevention Resources


Staff Trainings (in person)

SafeTALK (Livingsworks)
Registry: SPRC, Best Practice Registry
Cost: Varies (Free-$300)
SafeTALK is a half-day training program that teaches participants to recognize and engage persons who might be having thoughts of suicide and to connect them with community resources trained in suicide intervention. SafeTALK stresses safety while challenging taboos that inhibit open talk about suicide. The ‘safe’ of safeTALK stands for ‘suicide alertness for everyone’. The ‘TALK’ letters stand for the practice actions that one does to help those with thoughts of suicide: Tell, Ask, Listen, and Keep-Safe.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST, Livingworks)
Registry: SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices
Cost: Varies ($100-$200)
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety.

SuicideTALK (Livingworks)
Cost: Varies
This discussion based workshop (ranging from 90 minutes to a half a day), SuicideTALK invites all participants—regardless of prior training or experience—to become more aware of suicide prevention opportunities in their community. Dealing openly with the stigma around suicide, this exploration focuses upon the question “Should we talk about suicide?” By looking at this question in several different ways, session members can discover some of the beliefs and ideas about suicide in their communities—and in themselves.

QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)
Registry: SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices
Cost: Varies (Trainer Certification: $495)
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. Trainees receive a QPR booklet and wallet card as a review and resource tool that includes local referral resources. Train the Trainer opportunities available.

Mental Health First Aid
Cost: Varies
Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

The Trevor Project: Trainings for Youth-Serving Professionals
Cost: Varies
The Trevor Project’s Trainings for Professionals include in-person Ally and CARE trainings designed for adults who work with youth. These Trainings help counselors, educators, administrators, school nurses, and social workers discuss LGBTQ-competent suicide prevention.

  • Trevor Ally Trainings
    The Trevor Ally Program help adults learn about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth people, the specific risks and challenges they face and how they can become an “ally” by knowing valuable resources and strategies.
  • Trevor CARE Trainings
    The Trevor CARE Trainings help adults who work with youth learn to “Connect, Accept, Respond and Empower” (CARE) young people in crisis. This training discusses LGBTQ-specific risk factors for suicide, explores protective factors that can lower these risks and how to help youth get the support they need.

If you are interested in having Trevor provide one of these trainings for your staff, please email Chris Bright for scheduling details (

Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention
A community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide. Attendees will learn the risk and warning signs of suicide, and how together, we can help prevent it.

Break Free from Depression
Developed at Boston Children’s Hospital, Break Free from Depression is a school-based curriculum designed to increase adolescents’ awareness and knowledge about depression, enhance their ability to recognize signs and symptoms in themselves and their friends, and increase students’ skills and strategies for finding help for themselves and their peers. This 4-session curriculum for high school students combines didactic and interactive activities. The cornerstone of the curriculum is a documentary that focuses on a diverse group of real adolescents (not actors) talking about their struggles with depression and suicide in their own words.

Eliminating Barriers to Learning
Cost: Free
Equips secondary school teachers and staff with a training and continuing education program that focuses on mental health issues in the classroom. Includes training modules, PowerPoints, an administrator’s guide, PSAs, articles, and a poster.

Parents and Teachers As Allies (NAMI)
NAMI offers a free, on-site presentation that informs teachers and school personnel about mental health conditions, warning signs, how to communicate and partner with families effectively, how to link to community services quickly and how to create a supportive learning environment for all students. The presentation is 90 minutes and is led by a team from the community and consists of a young adult with a mental health condition, a parent and a teacher.

Staff Trainings (online)

Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Online:
Registry: SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices
Cost: Varies (Individual: $30, Institutional Licenses also available)
A one-hour online gatekeeper course that covers the following components:
• How to Question, Persuade and Refer someone who may be suicidal
• How to get help for yourself or learn more about preventing suicide
• The common causes of suicidal behavior
• The warning signs of suicide
• How to get help for someone in crisis

Keenan offers a free, short web-based tutorial that includes information regarding the new AB2246 law including warning signs and protective factors.

At-Risk for High School Educators (Kognito)
A 60-minute interactive role-play simulation that builds awareness, knowledge and skills about mental health and suicide prevention, preparing high school educators to recognize students in psychological distress, discuss concerns and, if necessary, connect them with support services. Learning Objectives include: Identifying warning signs of mental distress, including verbal, behavioral and situational clues; managing conversations with students to determine the need for referral; and developing awareness of negative stereotypes and misconceptions about mental distress and illness

Step In, Speak Up! (Kognito)
A 30-minute interactive role-play simulation for educators that builds understanding and appreciation for the challenges faced by LGBTQ youth, and prepares users to lead real-life conversations with students to curtail harassment and support those who may be struggling as a result of bullying or isolation.

Signs Matter: Online Suicide Prevention Training for K-12 Educators
Cost: $35 (Individual) / $25 (50–99) / $15 (100–199)
Signs Matter was developed based on a combination of science and best practice. The program presents scientifically based information on a variety of topics related to youth suicide, alongside best practice recommendations drawn from experts in the mental health and education fields. Science sheds light on key questions of risk and protective factors for youth suicide, as well as the most common behavioral presentations expressed by at risk youth. Recommendations for school personnel roles, support, referrals, and interventions are drawn from best practices of educational and mental health experts. Website:

LivingWorks Start
Cost: Free for teachers, staff, and students with the CDE (CA Dept. of Education)
Learn how to save a life in 90 minutes. The California Dept. of Education, in collaboration with LivingWorks and the San Diego County Office of Education, is launching a free online suicide prevention training program, LivingWorks Start, to teachers, staff, and middle and high school students in the State. The program officially launched at the LivingWorks Virtual Youth Summit on Sept. 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm. If you missed the live event, you can watch it on replay here:

LivingWorks Start is an easy, online, four-step program that teaches anyone, 13 years and older, how to recognize the signs of someone who is struggling and connect them to help. No prior training is necessary. LivingWorks is a global leader in suicide prevention training, with over 35 years of evidence-based programming to its credit.

If you are a middle and high school student, staff, or teacher with the CDE, you can claim your free LivingWorks Start program through your county’s Office of Education. If you are a member of the public interested in taking LivingWorks Start, you can access the program for a nominal fee here:

Together, we can save lives from suicide. Start now!

If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, are thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately: 1-800-273-8255This is a free 24-hour hotline.
Directing Change is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. These initiatives are funded by counties through the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.
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