Active Minds sponsored training to help prevent suicide in our community
KRYSTAL DODGE | firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the American College Health Association, “Suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among college students aged 25-34 and third leading cause of death of 15-24-year-olds.” On March 7, for the second consecutive semester, Active Minds hosted Suicide Prevention Training. Dr. Barbara Moser, MD from Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee (PSGM) led the event, and taught QPR (Question. Persuade. Refer. Institute) training.
The method taught was QPR, and it was developed by Paul Quinnett, PHD. It implements the use of three steps. The first step is to speak to a person directly and empathetically and ask them questions about suicide. Second, you should to try to persuade the person to get help. The final step is to refer the person to the appropriate resource.
This is not meant to be a form of treatment or counseling. The purpose is to offer hope to any distressed individual through positive action. The goal is to prevent tragedy by learning warning signs, clues, and suicidal tendencies of those in trouble. Participants were taught skills to act to prevent suicide, and how you can be an advocate.
The training consisted of a lecture, sharing personal experiences, role play, and the distribution of informative material. After completing the training all participants received a certificate in QPR suicide prevention.
Suicide has a big effect on a lot of people
Dr. Moser shared that she has had to ask a lot of people if they were suicidal, but the hardest person to ask was her own son. One in ten people have experienced serious suicidal thoughts. Would you know how to talk to someone about being suicidal? That is the reason why training like QPR is available. Suicide is a preventable cause of death. 90 percent of people who survive a suicide attempt get the help they need and do not attempt it again.
When discussed, most people had previously experienced some sort of incident related to suicide. This could include experiencing suicidal thoughts themselves, a friend or family member who committed or attempted suicide, and many other variations.
Response to the event
Overall the response to the event was very positive. Even though suicide is a difficult subject, people remained positive and participated in the activities. There was a very good turn out. There was a lot of good information and resources.
Robin Zelek , the President of Active Minds, said they will continue to sponsor this training at UW-Parkside. Just as people trained in CPR help save many lives each year, people trained in QPR can recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and question, persuade, and refer someone in crisis for help.
The event was very well organized, and it addressed a very important subject. In the words of Phil Donahue, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”