Bobcats Who Care is an interactive gatekeeper training program designed to help you respond to individuals in crisis. It will help you develop empathic listening and relationship building skills that will enable you to talk comfortably with someone who is very depressed, and help you connect that person to professional support.
Bobcats Who Care is for students, faculty, and staff interested in becoming a “gatekeeper” for the Ohio University campus and community. As a member of the “Bobcat family,” you are part of a campus that looks out for one another. This means being able to recognize and support someone who is feeling depressed, lonely and isolated, or misunderstood. It also means being able to provide referrals to appropriate professional resources on campus designed to help people in distress.
Bobcats Who Care will help you develop knowledge about suicide, including basic statistics and definitions, warning signs, risk factors, and appropriate referral resources. The training increases individuals’ knowledge, self-awareness, and communication skills focused around helping someone in need. These skills allow someone to ask the “right” questions, express understanding, and listen with empathy to best get a distressed person to professional help and support.
Bobcats Who Care is modeled after Campus Connect, a suicide prevention gatekeeper program developed by Dr. Cory Wallack at Syracuse University. Dr. Wallack is currently the Director of the Counseling Center at Syracuse University. In December, 2013, Dr. Wallack provided a “train-the trainer training” to a group of “Core Trainers” on the Ohio University campus.
Core Trainers include mental health professionals, administrative, and professional staff at Ohio University. Trainers represent the following departments and offices: