S.A.V.E.: VA Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Veterans Administration
S.A.V.E. is available from the VA at no charge. Contact Dr. Stephanie Gamble (Stephanie.Gamble@va.gov) for more information.


See This Resource

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.

Program Objectives

After training, the participant will be able to:

  1. Identify the scope of the problem of suicide among the veteran population.
  2. Identify the importance of suicide prevention.
  3. Discuss myths and misinformation about suicide.
  4. Identify a veteran who may be at risk for suicide.
  5. Discuss signs and symptoms of suicidal thinking.
  6. Ask questions about suicide in an objective and non-threatening way.
  7. Refer a veteran for evaluation and treatment.

Implementation Essentials

  • S.A.V.E. training should be conducted by trained VA suicide prevention coordinators or other qualified professionals.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 5.3: Intervene to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors in populations with suicide risk.

Objective 7.1: Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.

Objective 7.2: Provide training to mental health and substance abuse providers on the recognition, assessment, and management of at-risk behavior, and the delivery of effective clinical care for people with suicide risk.