QPR training: an evidence-based approach
Very few of us are trained counselors, so it’s no surprise that most of us wouldn’t know what to do if we were face-to-face or on the phone with someone who is thinking about or threatening suicide. Yet some very basic training, only 90-minutes long, can provide guidance and confidence to ordinary people who can actually save lives.
We all know CPR can save lives, and so can QPR. QPR stands for “Question, Persuade, Refer.” It is an evidence-based program, which means it has been evaluated and found to be effective. QPR trains people to be gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are trained to engage with a person at risk of suicide, find out what’s going on (question), talk about other options (persuade), and connect the person to clinical emergency mental health services, such as those operated by Axis Health System, or another private counselor.
For gatekeepers to be effective in a specific area, such as La Plata County, two things have to be true:
- There have to be plenty of gatekeepers (we have about 200, not enough); and
- A significant percent of the people need to know that gatekeepers exist, what they do, and how to find one. (We need your help with this.)
SUCAP requests a donation of $10 to cover the cost of materials. The cost of training is covered by grants from the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention and Indian Health Service.
How to sign up
QPR strategy and goals
The strategy is that, with more people trained to recognize and respond to potential suicides, more suicides will be prevented.
The program expects to:
- Increase the community awareness of high suicide rates in La Plata County
- Increase the likelihood that a person who encounter a person at risk of suicide will know how to involve a gatekeeper and will do so
- Increase the likelihood that a person at risk will be connected to emergency mental health services and a corresponding decrease in suicide completion.