Wellness Gatekeeper Training for Veterinarians

Learn to Identify and Refer At-Risk Colleagues

Gatekeeper training teaches people without professional mental health backgrounds to recognize the signs that someone may be considering suicide, establish a dialogue, and guide the person to seek professional help. It is not a substitute for professional assistance, but it can be a critical tool to save lives – and it's something that any veterinary professional can learn to do.

Because mental wellness issues are pervasive across the veterinary profession, the AVMA family – AVMA, AVMA LIFE, and AVMA PLIT – have joined together for a pilot program that will provide gatekeeper training to a limited number of veterinarians and veterinary students, with an eye toward possibly expanding the program if it is successful.

Approximately 5,000 AVMA and SAVMA members will be able to take gatekeeper training through the QPR Institute in this pilot program, with the cost covered by the AVMA. The training is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The program may be expanded in the future, based on member interest and success with the pilot.

What is Gatekeeper Training?

The QPR Institute began operating in 1999 and has provided training to more than 1 million people to date. Graduates of the program are empowered to reach out to colleagues who may be experiencing difficult times and direct them to appropriate resources. Through this program, veterinarians will be able to better assist colleagues who may be in crisis.

QPR training is conducted entirely online, so you can fit it into your busy schedule. The full training takes only about 60 minutes. Key components covered in training include:

  • How to question, persuade and refer someone who may be suicidal
  • How to get help for someone in crisis
  • Common causes of suicidal behavior
  • Warning signs of suicide

As a participant in the AVMA-sponsored training you will:

  • Receive your training free of charge, compliments of the AVMA, AVMA LIFE and AVMA PLIT
  • Have access to your QPR Institute account for up to three years so you can begin and finish training at your convenience, and go back and review the materials as often as you want
  • Be able to connect with fellow enrollees and other AVMA members concerned about mental wellness in the AVMA Veterinary Wellness & Well-being Community on LinkedIn to continue learning with your peers

How to Sign Up

A limited number of QPR training licenses are available through this pilot program on a first-come, first-served basis to AVMA and SAVMA members. To sign up, just sign into the AVMA website, and you will then be transferred to the QPR website to create an account. After creating your account, you will receive login credentials from the QPR Institute, along with instructions to begin your training.

What Else Can You Do?

Please join the AVMA Veterinary Wellness & Well-being Community on LinkedIn to connect with your colleagues who are concerned about wellness issues. Share stories, links and information about wellness there; as a community of many voices, we are stronger and can continue to learn together. Membership in the group is open to all AVMA and SAVMA members, and those with expertise in social work, mental illness, and suicide prevention.