Suicide is a leading cause of death among Indigenous youth worldwide. The aim of this literature review was to determine the cultural appropriateness and identify evidence for the effectiveness of current gatekeeper suicide prevention training programs within the international Indigenous community.
Using a systematic strategy, relevant databases and targeted resources were searched using the following terms: ‘suicide’, ‘gatekeeper’, ‘training’, ‘suicide prevention training’, ‘suicide intervention training’ and ‘Indigenous’. Other internationally relevant descriptors for the keyword “Indigenous” (e.g. “Maori”, “First Nations”, “Native American”, “Inuit”, “Metis” and “Aboriginal”) were also used.
Six articles, comprising five studies, met criteria for inclusion; two Australian, two from USA and one Canadian. While pre and post follow up studies reported positive outcomes, this was not confirmed in the single randomised controlled trial identified. However, the randomised controlled trial may have been underpowered and contained participants who were at higher risk of suicide pre-training.
Uncontrolled evidence suggests that gatekeeper training may be a promising suicide intervention in Indigenous communities but needs to be culturally tailored to the target population. Further RCT evidence is required.