Four Corners Health Department

People in communities want to be caring and connected to each other.

One focus of these caring communities is learning how to be there for someone who is in crisis and considering suicide.

A training called QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) equips people with basic skills to know how to be there. QPR is a Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention. It is a 1-1 ½ hour educational program. The training is designed to teach lay and professional “gatekeepers” the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond.

Gatekeepers can be anyone who is in a position to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide. This can include, parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, caseworkers, police officers, church workers, and others. Everyone should have this training.

The workshop teaches three steps: (1) Question the person’s desire or intent about suicide, (2) Persuade the person to seek and accept help, and (3) Refer the person to the right resources.

Those who attend the training receive a QPR booklet and wallet card as a review and resource tool. Local referral resources are included on these.

The training is delivered in person by certified QPR gatekeeper instructors. The content of the training can be tailored to specific groups; for example, veterans and faith communities.

Many of us know about CPR — an emergency medical method of response created in 1957 by Peter Safar. Its purpose is to stabilize people who may be in cardiac arrest until the person can reach a hospital or other care. It’s encouraged that everyone has this training – to save lives.

QPR is similar in thought. It’s an emergency mental health method of response for suicidal persons created in 1995 by Paul Quinnett. The intent also is to identify and interrupt the crisis and direct the person to the proper care. It’s encouraged that everyone has this training – to save lives.

Both CPR and QPR are part of systems designed to increase the chance of survival in the event of a crisis.

The Seward Suicide Prevention Coalition, Four Corners LOSS Teams, York End of Life Coalition, and other organizations want everyone to be trained in QPR. This free training can be offered at your church, organization, or business.

The Four Corners District has a good core group of trainers ready to provide this workshop. To set up a workshop, contact Four Corners Health Department. Call 402-362-2621 or 877-337-3573. Email info@fourcorners.ne.gov.

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