CALIFORNIA: Ventura County Bartenders Asked to Serve the Question, “Are You Going to Kill Yourself?”

August 09, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

VC Star

Ventura County is involving local bartenders in suicide prevention. Through a program called Bartenders as Gatekeepers, the county behavioral health department is training bar staff how to identify and assist patrons at risk. The program has also created drink coasters encouraging people in distress to call a crisis hotline. Local bar owner Bill Kracht said that bartenders often form connections with their customers, which puts them in a good position to help. At one of Kracht’s bars, staff are learning how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and initiate a caring conversation. “I noticed there’s a difference in you. Is something wrong?” Kracht demonstrated. He added, “If you can help another human being, you should.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about identifying and assisting people at risk.