‘Intimate’ Suicide Prevention Training Teaches QPR Skills | New

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A veteran suicide prevention training program held Tuesday at Searcy First United Methodist Church was called a “fairly intimate experience” by Paul Hill, director of White County Veterans Community Partnerships.

“You don’t want to talk about suicide in front of a million people,” Hill said. “We try to do it as a group, so like we have an office, a Sunday school class, a non-profit organization.”

He said the goal was to keep the number of people training in the program, called QPR, between six and 12 at a time.

QPR “stands for Question, Persuade and Refer,” Hill said. “It’s a very simple educational tool to prepare absolutely anyone to deal with someone who suddenly seems suicidal. When that happens, if you are not prepared, you are not prepared.

Hill, who has been an instructor with Andrew Barnes, said that when it comes to dealing with someone who is suicidal, whether it is a child, parent or anyone in the community with these RQP skills, they can take that person to the benchmark stage.

He said his group had been contacted by Together With Veterans about adding a suicide prevention component. “The two main parts of this are suicide prevention and then safety,” he said. “In the long run what we want to do is absolutely take any small group of six to 12 people that can take 2/12 hours to do this training, we want to do this training and we want to do it. now before another life. is lost.”

QPR is taught in about an hour, Hill said. “The rest is really role-playing and basically what you practice doing is using the ‘s’ word. I used it the other day on a guy and a year ago I couldn’t have said it like I can now. Now I’m more comfortable and that’s what people need.

According to Hill, the highest percentage of veterans who kill themselves are 55 and over.

“There are many factors that come into play,” he said. “For some people, the battlefield scenes and all the coverage of the war trigger a response. For other people, coming home and seeing the world is very different from the way you left it because you are so different, it makes it difficult, but we think we can solve this problem by having a community aware and educated on how to handle this. “

Hill said that when veterans come to his group with suicidal thoughts, they are usually referred to the Veterans Administration, but he said if they are more comfortable speaking with a pastor, they can do that too. He said the VA has a very good advisor locally to refer veterans to.

Regarding the intervention, helping someone who is having suicidal thoughts, Hill said, “Don’t expect someone else to do this, when it’s in front of you it’s yours. job. “

Hill said one of his sayings is “we think we can solve suicide with coffee, one cup at a time.” So we meet at the Chit, Chat and Chew Cafe here every week in Searcy. Every veteran is invited along with your wife and child and anyone else who wants to come. Sometimes people come and they have programs that they want to share with the veterans.

“The idea is that when you’re with someone else, you have a relationship and you don’t kill yourself, and it’s deep because it’s so human and so easy to approach,” he said. -he declares. “I don’t have to answer your psychological problems, I can’t get you out of political problems or solve anything else, but I can have a cup of coffee and I can listen to you and give you feedback. from a friend.

At the last coffee meet in Searcy, Hill said they had 21 people in attendance, filling nearly half of the restaurant. “We [also] do it to Beebe on Wednesday mornings at Happy Jack’s Cafe on Main Street.

Hill said the role of the White County Veterans Community Partnership is to help the community and its veterans become a stronger community, whether through urgent action or mental health or perhaps simply through a conversation, “and hopefully a cup of coffee”.

Crystal Martin, Transitional Employment Assistance Case Manager for the Arkansas Workforce Services Division, said she attended Tuesday’s training “because I meet a lot of clients. and I knew it would be helpful to be able to identify any signs of suicide or other mental health issues that might arise, so I figured maybe I could help out before it became a bigger problem than it is not already.

“I got a lot out of it, sort of identifying the warning signs, some questions I could ask them to get them to open up to me and find resources in the community that they can use,” Martin mentioned.

“It was really more the questions to ask. I’ve always had a hard time figuring out what to say to someone in a difficult situation, so it was very helpful to know what questions I can ask, which is appropriate at that time, because I always have thought there was a stigma around like, ‘Hey, have you thought about hurting yourself?’ So I go into training and it kind of concretized the idea that it’s okay to ask and it takes a long time. “I’m happy to have this information now, I’m better equipped to identify if there is a problem and what to do and who to contact. “

She said there were seven class members and they all participated in scenarios and exchanged ideas on how to say things to other people who needed help.

“They haven’t really identified certain age groups; they kind of used it for anyone, ”Martin said. “One of the first scenarios was about a 12 year old boy we were trying to identify issues with.

“I’m happy to know now that I could be someone that someone else could lean on. If they feel like they’re completely alone, they know they can come to me and talk to me about something even if I’m not equipped to handle all of their mental issues, I can at least listen to them so that ‘they feel heard. “


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