Suicide prevention training held across campus to save lives

ALINA PANEK — Q.P.R. stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide, according to the QPR institute.

The institute hopes to normalize the training, comparing its importance to be much like other life-saving procedures, for example, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or the Heimlich Maneuver.

“Both CPR and QPR are part of systems designed to increase the chance of survival in the event of a crisis,” according to the QPR institute.

Denison routinely offers this training to staff, faculty, and student leaders. Each year, all Community Advisors are trained in Q.P.R.

For the past 18 months, the Whisler Health Center has been hosting these training sessions in a variety of times and locations to make the workshop easily accessible to the Denison community.

Jack Wheeler, a Licensed Independent Social Worker for The Whisler Center, said, “Whisler counseling staff carefully considered the appropriateness of QPR training following the suicide of a Denison student. We decided that it was more valuable to continue efforts to prevent suicide, but we also want to respect how some members of our community may wish to opt out of the training if they feel emotionally unprepared for the content.”

The training includes a presentation along with brochures and other take-home materials to supplement the workshop.

The workshop is engaging for the participants creating a simulation that enacts the conversation that one might have with someone who is struggling and might be contemplating suicide. The key points that the QPR institute offers that participants will learn from these workshops are recognizing the warning signs of suicide, knowing how to offer hope, and knowing how to get help and save a life.

“Suicide can be a difficult topic for students to openly discuss,” Wheeler said. “It is even harder for students and staff to know what to do once they find out that their friend, classmate, or family member may be thinking about suicide. QPR training provides students with the tools to feel more confident that they will know what to do if/when that happens. Ultimately, it’s an ongoing effort to empower the Denison community to prevent future suicides.”

QPR institute’s goal is to have at least one person from each family unit in the United States and other countries to be Q.P.R. trained, as the more training occurs, more lives will be saved.

At Denison, Q.P.R. training will continue to be held throughout the semester with most training sessions occurring at the beginning of the month. If interested, please call Whisler at (740) 587-6385 or sign up through a link by clicking on the poster on the MyDenison Featured Events section on the Home page. There are 40 slots open for each session and all are welcome to register.

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