What is QPR Training and How Can It Prevent Suicide?

What is QPR Training and How Can It Prevent Suicide?

You’ve heard of CPR, which can save the life of someone’s heart stops. But do you know about QPR? QPR stands for “Question, Persuade and Refer,” and it may make the difference in the life of someone who is considering self-harm or suicide. Throughout the month of September, we have been focusing on suicide prevention as part of the National Suicide Prevention Month. QPR, a training program offered by the Hancock Health Connection Center, educates people about suicide warning signs and equips them with steps they can take to save lives.

A look at suicide statistics

Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in Indiana. However, it is the third leading cause of death in Indiana for people between the ages of 10-24, and the second leading cause of death for ages 25-34, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE). Nationwide, suicide was responsible for 48,183 deaths in 2021. That’s one death every 11 minutes.

Suicide can touch any family, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, and location. However, certain groups have higher rates of suicide, including non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native people, followed by non-Hispanic white people. People who live in rural areas have higher-than-average rates of suicide, as well as young people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Suicidal tendencies may be difficult to identify, and many survivors struggle with feelings of guilt when they lose a loved one to suicide. Sometimes it is simply impossible to prevent suicide. However, programs like QPR can make a difference. In fact, a retrospective study of QPR participants in Tennessee showed that more than 42% were able to identify and intervene with at least one at-risk youth in the six months after taking the course. Let’s dig into what happens in QPR training.

QPR training

Hancock Health Connection Center staff offers QPR training classes to interested groups and individuals. Our staff has been trained through the QPR Institute, which developed the QPR curriculum and program. QPR classes are pivotal to caring for the mental health of Hancock County residents. Just as you rely on a smoke detector to warn you before the flames engulf your home, the training offered during a QPR class can help you take action with someone who is considering suicide.

During a two-hour training session, participants focus on several key components:

  • How can you question, persuade and refer someone who may be suicidal
  • Getting help for yourself or learning more about suicide prevention
  • Common causes of suicidal behavior
  • Warning signs of suicide
  • How to get help for someone in crisis

QPR training is offered periodically through the Hancock Health Connection Center. Our next session in 2023 will be from 2-4 pm Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Connection Center. You can register for the free class here. Our staff also offers QPR training to outside groups and organizations. If you are interested in hosting a class, call us at 317-468-4231.

A far-reaching impact

Suicidal behavior affects more than just the person who attempts to end their life. Suicide attempts can have lasting effects on someone’s overall physical health. There may long-term mental health issues, including depression or anxiety.

Suicidal behavior also leaves its mark on loved ones and family members, who can experience prolonged grief, shock, anger, guilt, depression, and anxiety. Suicide and self-harm can cost more than $500 billion in medical expenses, days lost from work and quality of life costs.

Other suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors, you can call 988 to be connected immediately with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Calling this number puts you in touch with trained counselors who can listen, support and provide referrals to local resources.

The Hancock Health Connection Center has a staff of support navigators who are here to listen to concerns and refer people to appropriate support services and treatment options. Anyone who is a Hancock County resident or a Hancock Health patient or associate can stop by the center, located at 120 W. McKenzie Road in Greenfield, during regular business hours.

Suicide does not have to be an inevitable conclusion for someone who is struggling. Be proactive now by registering for the next QPR training session on November 14 at the Connection Center. Or, talk to a support navigator about how you can become familiar with the warning signs of suicide and how to help someone find appropriate resources in time to save their own lives.

Ways to Support Suicide Prevention

Ways to Support Suicide Prevention

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and there are many ways that you can help support this important issue. Mental health conditions and suicidal thoughts are more common than you may realize. In Hancock County, “mental health and suicide” was among the top five concerns of respondents to our 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment. You can help support suicide prevention and those struggling with mental wellness with these steps.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is in immediate risk of self-harm or suicide, call 911 immediately. We also recommend calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or texting the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741) if you prefer text. These services are both free, confidential and available 24/7. 

Take a QPR suicide prevention class

Just like you would take a CPR class to be prepared for an emergency response situation, our QPR suicide prevention training can prepare you to save someone’s life too. QPR stands for “Question, Persuade and Refer,” three steps you can take to support someone who may be considering suicide or self-harm. QPR classes will help you identify the warning signs of suicide in loved ones, friends or coworkers, and how to get them access to resources that can help. Healthy365 offers QPR classes quarterly, and you can sign up for our next training online

Remember the signs of suicide

There are several warning signs of suicide or self-harm that you may be able to identify in people you interact with often. Some of these signs include talking about wanting to die or about being a burden to others. They may also experience feelings of hopelessness, or act more anxious, agitated or reckless with extreme mood swings. Those considering suicide may start using alchohol or drugs more frequently, sleep too much or too little, or withdraw from life and isolate from others. If you notice any of these signs in someone you know, you should get them help right away.

Know who is at risk

Anyone can be at risk for suicide or self-harm, even those who seem “fine” on the outside. Knowing the warning signs of suicide can help in suicide prevention, but it can also help to know the populations who may be at higher risk. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), population groups at greater risk of suicide can include veterans, American Indians, LGBTQ+, young adults, loss and disaster survivors and survivors of a previous suicide attempt. If you have a friend or loved one in one of these categories and notice a change in their behavior, keep an eye out for the early signs of emotional suffering. 

Help reduce mental health stigma

You can also help prevent suicide by reducing the stigma around mental health and wellness. If someone is able to talk about their feelings or get help from a mental health professional early on when they are having a difficult time, it may prevent them from ever getting to the point of contemplating suicide. At Healthy365, you can work with a Support Navigator to connect you or someone you love with resources such as support groups, counseling/therapy and more. We host events like Rise Above It to discuss important mental health concerns and offer coping mechanisms to our local community of teens and adults. You may also consider supporting the Hancock County Mental Health Campaign, a funding effort to bring mental illness and substance abuse to light — and bring an end to darkness and suffering.

Always know that help is available for those in crisis, and you can contact Healthy365 online or at 317-468-4231 for a connection to local mental health resources and more.

The Five Signs of Emotional Suffering

The Five Signs of Emotional Suffering

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes it a good time for a refresher on the five signs of emotional suffering. It is always important to keep an eye out for even subtle changes in your friends, coworkers and loved ones in Hancock County. They may be suffering emotionally without recognizing symptoms, or they may not be ready to ask for help. With the help of Healthy365, we can connect your loved one to the mental health resources they need for their emotional balance. 

1. Personality Changes

Someone in emotional distress may start to behave differently from their usual personality. These changes could be gradual or sudden. People suffering from emotional pain may start to behave in a way that doesn’t align their their usual values, or they may just seem different in general. 

2. Uncharacteristically Agitated

People in a cycle of emotional suffering may have more issues with their anger. They may be frequently irritable or seem unable to calm down. If you notice a loved one who is normally even tempered seeming more angry, anxious, agitated or moody, it may be a sign that they need help. In severe situations of emotional distress, some people may even have trouble sleeping or have an explosion of anger over minor problems. 

3. Withdrawal or Isolation

A difficult sign of emotional suffering for loved ones to help manage is withdrawal or isolation. It can be hard to notice other signs if someone starts to pull away from you. But for a person who is normally social, this can also be a sign of distress. Some people will stop taking part in activities that they once found enjoyable, or in extreme cases may even stop showing up to work or school. Be sure to keep in mind the person’s usual social activity (such as introverts) and get help if they start to pull away from their normal support system. 

4. Risky Behavior or Poor Self-Care

If you have a loved one suffering from emotional distress, you may start to notice them neglecting their usual level of self-care. They could stop taking care of personal hygiene, or they could start misusing alcohol or other substances. Risky or self-destructive behavior is an important cry for help in emotional pain, but may also alienate loved ones. 

5. Feeling Overwhelmed or Hopeless

The fifth sign of emotional suffering is the feeling of hopelessness or becoming easily overwhelmed. Especially if the person is generally optimistic, feeling hopeless or depressed is a sign to watch out for. Some people in emotional distress may also feel grief, worthlessness or guilt. In extreme cases, they could feel like the world would be better off without them, or express suicidal ideation

How Can You Help?

You can help a friend or loved one in emotional suffering first by knowing and recognizing these signs. If you notice one or more of these signs in someone you care about, talk to them about it. You can suggest working with a Support Navigator at Healthy365, and we can connect them with one of the many local resources to best fit their mental health needs. NOTE: If you feel they are at risk of harming themselves or others, call 911 immediately. 

Reach out to a Healthy365 Support Navigator today at 317-468-4231 to discover the wide variety of resources that are available to local Hancock County residents.

Five Signs of Emotional Suffering

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