By Carol Coiner
I have found many opportunities in my life. I have tools and skills for my business and tools for my home life and hobbies. Whenever I reach a barrier in any project, I do research to learn how to complete the task or find a tool. One day I learned that I was missing an essential set of tools that should be in every person’s tool box for life. That day was when I received an emergency call. When I responded, I found that my brother had died.
After my brother tragically died by suicide, I couldn’t help but wonder every day what I could have done to help my brother when he was feeling overwhelmingly depressed. Over and over this question repeated in my mind, “Had I missed any signs that he might have given to suggest that he had a plan to die?”
Eventually, I reached out to a family counselor who suggested reading materials to help me gain an understanding of depression, both the neurological and the behavioral/emotional side. From there, I built up the courage to begin talking about the “S” word — suicide — and learned through a colleague that the nonprofit Mental Health Association Oklahoma offers a free suicide prevention training program. I attended the training and learned the skills of QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). It’s basically the mental health version of CPR. Soon, I set a goal to one day help establish a Miami-area QPR team. This is still my dream.
I hope you’ll join me at Miami’s one-hour suicide prevention training set for Monday, September 10 from 5:30-6:30 pm at the NEO A&M College Ballroom. The event is open to all members of the public 18 years or older. This is also a poignant date because it is World Suicide Prevention Day.
During this free suicide prevention training, you’ll learn warning signs of suicide and ways to walk alongside someone as they connect to services.
Like CPR, the more people who are trained, the more equipped we are as a community to help someone in need. Invite a friend or family member to come with you.
You can call Mental Health Association Oklahoma at 918.585.1213 if you have questions about the QPR training. The organization also has a website at www.mhaok.org and they are on Facebook as well if you wish to share the information about the training opportunity on September 10th.
Don’t be caught off guard when you hear someone make a comment about suicide that disturbs you. Maybe you do not know what question you could ask that might possibly guide this person to get help and save a life. An hour of QPR training among caring people is simple and could very well save a life from suicide with the set of tools you’ll gain.