What does GRASP mean?Introducing GRASP training…

Suicide Awareness
Prevention and Planning

GRASP is an evidence-based gatekeeper training program for youth from Grades 9 to 12.


Empathy Students from Nanaimo District Secondary School created a promotional video about the Vancouver Island Crisis Society’s GRASP program. We are proud of the inspiring contributions these students have made in this piece.


Young people often turn to their peers in times of difficulty and are aware of school dynamics about which school staff may not be cognizant. GRASP was developed as a Peer Gatekeeper training program to provide youth with the skills needed recognize and identify students at risk and where they can turn for help.

GRASP was designed to the boost self confidence, problem solving, community resource knowledge, knowledge of school district protocols, critical thinking, awareness of personal biases, resilience, suicide awareness and response in students selected to take the program.

Through a series of games, interactive discussion, group activity, written work, and role play, youth learn:

  • Funders for GRASP School ProgramActive listening skills
  • The impact of  social and cultural biases on listening and helping
  • Why difficult situations can be turning points for the better
  • The power of our choices
  • How to respectfully communicate in an open and direct manner
  • The differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships
  • How to recognize manipulation
  • When to set boundaries
  • How to set boundaries
  • Coping with crisis
  • Suicide awareness, the importance of reaching out, and never keeping suicide a secret
  • Community resource information

Contributors in part to this program include: Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, Province of British Columbia, United Way Cowichan, and United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island. Also see list of private donors.

View the GRASP information sheet for youth (PDF).

GRASP is facilitated by Lyndsay Wells and Heather Owen. For further information, call 250-753-2495, toll free at 1-877-753-2495, or email

© Vancouver Island Crisis Society. All rights reserved. No commercial reproduction, distribution or transmission of any part or parts of this workshop or any information contained therein by any means whatsoever is permitted without the prior written permission of Vancouver Island Crisis Society

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