This study examined the roles that youth involvement and youth trainee–trainer alliance play in school mental health prevention within the context of youth suicide gatekeeper training. Measures included youth involvement in programming, trainee–trainer alliance, and intentions to refer at-risk youth at pre- and post-training. A moderated-mediation design was used to examine associations among these factors. Results show alliance mediating pre- and post-training referral intentions, and involvement moderating the relationship between alliance and post-training intentions. On average, trainee intentions improved from pre- to post-training, but trainees reporting high alliance endorsed higher post-training referral intentions regardless of involvement level. Low alliance resulted in lower than average post-training referral intentions, even with active involvement in programming, and those with both low alliance and involvement showed the lowest post-training referral intentions. Given these findings, fostering the youth trainee–trainer relationship may be an avenue to optimize prevention program effectiveness.
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