Learn how to recognize and help those at risk of suicide through QPR training
Have you ever found yourself a workplace watercooler, a get-together with friends, or the dinner table with your family and talked openly about a physical injury sustained over the weekend or "back when" you were a kid?" It might have been a skinned knee while racing your bike or a strained back moving furniture. Maybe you even embellished a little to bring in a larger crowd.
Now, how many of you have ever talked openly about a mental health struggle or experience with suicide?
It can be common for us to openly discuss our physical aches and pains with our co-workers, family or friends. But when it comes to mental health, those conversations do not happen nearly as often and tend to be much less open.
The World Health Organization's definition of health includes physical, mental and social well-being. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and it's an important opportunity to remember that, in order to get closer to a state of complete well-being, we need to start focusing on all aspects of our health with the same respect and openness as we do with the physical and social. Mental health is health.
Change the conversation
Suicide is a serious public health concern. Every year, more than 700,000 people globally die by suicide. But there is hope. Suicide can be one of the most preventable causes of death if timely action is taken through empathy, listening and being trained in evidence-based programs.
There are many people at that dinner table, grill or watercooler wanting to talk. The good news? Having these types of conversations with co-workers, family or friends is a straightforward way to act; you can make a difference if you take steps to help those reaching out. These steps can include taking suicide prevention training, learning more about the signs and symptoms of suicide, or even just asking people how they are doing and really listening.
Become a gatekeeper
In partnership with Campus Health, Life & Work Connections facilitates Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Trainings for University faculty and staff throughout the year, digitally and in person. University employees can participate in sessions open to anyone, take a training specific to their role (e.g., a parent or supervisor) or set up a training specifically for their team. By participating in one of these training sessions, you can join more than 300 employees this year alone by becoming a QPR gatekeeper.
Gatekeepers can be anyone – including advisers, caregivers, friends, parents, teachers and others – who is strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide.
What you'll learn
During the QPR training, which run 90 minutes to two hours, you will develop lifesaving skills and learn more about:
- Suicide statistics.
- Myths and facts about suicide.
- Signs and symptoms of suicide.
- How to offer hope.
- How to get someone help and save a life.
The knowledge and skills you learn through training are applicable for whatever role you find yourself in throughout the day – concerned co-worker, friend, parent or whatever hat you are wearing at the moment. You can be instrumental in helping someone get the help they need just by taking that next step.