Growth, Resilience, Acknowledgement, Suicide Awareness, Prevention and Personal Planning

GRASP (Growth, Resilience, Acknowledgement, Suicide Awareness, Prevention and Personal Planning)

GRASP is a fun and interactive gatekeeper training program presented in Vancouver Island schools for students Grades 8 to 12 interested in learning skills to be effective peer helpers. We cover self-awareness, communication, healthy relationships, boundary setting, community resources, suicide awareness, and how to access help for others.

The former GRASP for elementary students is being replaced by a brand new program called COPE: Communication, Options, Perspective, Enjoy Life. It focusses on personal coping skills for learners from Grades 5 to 7.

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, and suicide awareness and response in students selected to take the program.

The program is presented in four, two-hour sessions. Through a series of games, interactive discussion, group activity, written work, and role play, youth learn:

  • Active 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


We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia for Community Education programming

Please also see list of private donors.

GRASP is facilitated primarily by Lyndsay Wells, with support from GRASP alumni. For further information, call 250-753-2495, toll free at 1-877-753-2495, or email

Please note that GRASP can be facilitated on-site at schools or in a virtual environment.

© 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

Student commentary about GRASP