This spring, Western Washington University will increase its offerings of suicide prevention trainings to the campus community.
Last fall, the Suicide Prevention program created a cohort of certified Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) trainers to increase the number of trainings offered on campus. Western students, staff, and faculty can register for these trainings on the HR website by selecting one of the offerings for "We All Have a Role to Play in Suicide Prevention."
Training our WWU community in QPR is an important step towards creating a healthier, safer campus. We all care, and by gaining the skills to effectively intervene we could help to save a life.
“Training our WWU community in QPR is an important step towards creating a healthier, safer campus. We all care, and by gaining the skills to effectively intervene we could help to save a life,” said Kas Church, Western's Suicide Prevention coordinator.
With increasing rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide among college students, it is important to know how to help a student in distress. QPR is design to give you the skills to help someone in distress and refer them to mental health professionals. In this training, you will learn how to identify common warning signs of distress, how to have a compassionate and non-judgmental conversation, and how you can support an individual in accessing mental health services on campus.
“Suicide can be a very difficult and personal topic for some. We are mindful that many people have lost someone to suicide as we facilitate these trainings,” said Western's Men’s Resiliency specialist Ian Vincent. As an undergraduate student, Vincent lost two friends to suicide and shifted his career goals after volunteering to provide prevention programs.
“For me, the hardest thing to learn was that suicide can be preventable. This also left me feeling empowered to prevent another suicide. I believe that many people who have lost someone to suicide did everything they could to support that individual. QPR was one of the first in-person trainings I received and I learned a lot about ways to support others,” said Vincent.
QPR is not intended to be a form of counseling. The training teaches how to recognize warning signs of suicide, offer support in a non-judgmental manner, and make appropriate referrals to mental health professionals. These trainings also provide information about campus and community resources for Western students, staff, and faculty. You can learn more about QPR by visiting their website.