By Julie Summers
Mental Health AssociationOklahoma
Why are we offering our free monthly QPR suicide prevention training this Thursday at 6 pm in Tulsa? Well, to put a face on it, let me tell you about Jack, a fire chief in the Tulsa area, who doesn’t just save lives from fire — he also works to save them from suicide.
Jack and his deputy-chief, Ben, came to one of our QPR trainings after a fellow firefighter died by suicide. They wanted to find some way to reach out to people struggling with thoughts of suicide and to learn how to help them.
Through QPR, Jack and Ben learned how to ask the question that can save lives: Are you thinking about killing yourself? Because of Jack and Ben, we were invited to provide QPR training to his firefighting team and help them to develop a stronger mental health component to their working environment.
This is all to say that suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death. From accounting firms to firehouses, and everywhere between, we must talk about it openly, provide support, and reach out to those we are concerned about to get them the help they desperately need.
A key piece in saving lives from suicide is participating in our free monthly QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention training. QPR is the mental health version of CPR.
Our next monthly QPR training will be Thursday, September 28 at 6 pm at the Association’s main office in Tulsa, 1870 S. Boulder Avenue.
The QPR training, which lasts about one hour, will help you detect the warning signs of suicide and empower you to ask this powerful question: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It will also give you the tools needed to help you walk alongside someone you care about as they get connected to services in your community.
If you are concerned about someone you know, seek help as soon as possible by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
You may also call us at 918.585.1213 or 405.943.3700 to schedule a QPR training for your business, school, faith community or civic organization.
To dispel misconceptions about suicide, check out these Suicide Myths and Facts:
Myth: If someone wants to die, they will find a way, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Fact: Suicide is the most preventable cause of death.
Myth: People who are thinking about suicide don’t tell anyone.
Fact: Research suggests that as many as 75% of the people who attempt suicide do something, or say something to let others know before they act, meaning there is significant opportunity to intervene and provide help and support.
Myth: There are no warning signs of suicide.
Fact: There are many warning signs, including talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
Myth: When people who are thinking about suicide seem to be feeling better, they are no longer at risk of suicide.
Fact: For some people, once they decide to die by suicide, they temporarily feel a sense of relief. At this point, it’s not too late to prevent suicide by asking a question and saving a life.
Myth: Teenagers and college students are the most at risk for suicide.
Fact: For teens and college kids, the suicide rate is actually below the national average. The suicide rate is still highest among white men over the age of 65.
Want to learn more about QPR? Visit www.mhaok.org/qpr.