By Rich Suwanski for The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer
The Owensboro Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition will begin providing monthly QPR Gatekeeper Training on Tuesday (Nov. 5) for individuals, groups or businesses that want to learn how to recognize someone in a suicidal crisis and help that person get aid.
Training is free and will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Logsdon Community Center, 2400 Friendship Drive. The training will be held the first Tuesday of every month, except in December. QPR refers to question, persuade, refer — and certified trainers in the coalition will facilitate the
“In the past, we’ve done the training for youth ministers and pastors, in school systems, college campuses and fire departments, but this will give people a designated and regular place to receive the training,” said Mike Flaherty, chairman of the coalition. “We want to offer this to as many people in the community as we can to extend the safety net by making more people capable to recognizing someone struggling with suicidal thinking, and what to do about it.”
QPR-trained people can recognize the warnings signs, know how to offer hope and get the person help. Some warning signs of a person contemplating suicide include hopelessness, depression, giving away prized possessions, talking of suicide, becoming more aggressive or withdrawn, lapsing into drug or alcohol use or securing lethal means to commit the act.
QPR involves listening non-judgmentally if someone talks about suicide, helping them understand that there are other choices to improving their life, then finding a trusted person who can help them take the next step forward.
“Some people think that if you ask a person if they’re contemplating suicide that that plants the idea in their head, but studies show that that’s a myth,” Flaherty said. “Talking about it actually relieves pressure for the suicidal person. It frees them up to talk about it. They don’t feel so isolated. They feel relief.”
For more information, go online to www.orspc.org.
Rich Suwanski, 691-7315, or [email protected]