Document Type

DNP - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Brandi Pravecek


Introduction: Suicide is a leading cause of death among today's youth. One in six youth have seriously considered attempting suicide, and one in 13 have attempted suicide at least once. Timely identification of those at risk and connection with appropriate help are critical. Elementary, middle, and high school teachers are ideally positioned to act as gatekeepers through early recognition of students in psychological distress and timely response and referral when appropriate.
Evidence Summary: Teachers report a sense of responsibility for providing indirect mental health services to youth but have a lack of sufficient training and preparedness. Kognito online simulations have shown improvements in gatekeepers' confidence in their ability to recognize, intervene, and refer at-risk suicidal youth for help.
Gaps: A lack of published literature focusing on school-based suicide prevention programs, especially for vulnerable populations and rural areas, was available. Limited evidence that focused on sustainability and long-term outcomes was also noted.
Recommendations for Practice: Kognito' s gatekeeper training can be used to raise suicide awareness by improving knowledge, attitudes, and helping skills among teachers and school support staff. Early recognition and intervention as soon as possible with at-risk youth before suicidal behavior occurs are vital.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Suicide -- Prevention.
Students -- Mental health services.
Rural youth -- Mental health services.
Rural schools.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © Mackenzie Wieser

Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2024