(WYTV) – 33 WYTV News and our sister stations across Ohio are partnering with the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation this week to bring you stories of hope and stories of help.
Yesterday, Meteorologist Ryan Halicki shared why raising awareness is personal to him and walked through important warning signs. Tonight’s focus is learning how to help.
We are going to highlight a specific type of training that aims to help you help someone who is struggling. It’s called QPR training and it’s offered right here in the Valley.
“It teaches things to watch for around suicide if you think someone is suicidal, how to talk to someone who you think might be suicidal and then how to refer those folks to help in the behavioral health field,” said Tony Coder, executive director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation.
QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer — three simple words taught to suicide prevention “gatekeepers.”
“Anyone can be a gatekeeper. It’s simply learning some very simple techniques of what to listen for, what to even watch for,” Coder said.
Gatekeepers learn the importance of questioning someone who is struggling with direct questions.
Question: Are you having thoughts of suicide?
Persuasion: Helping someone see why they need help.
Referral: Refering them to someone who can help.
“A lot of people seem to think that questioning someone about suicide puts the idea of suicide in their head. That’s simply not true and the research shows that. Questioning someone is helpful and it is not harmful,” said Joe Rawson, director of education with the Family Recovery Center in Lisbon.
Through grants, the Family Recovery Center is training people to be gatekeepers.
“Prevention models such as QPR are based on tackling the issue very early on. Prevention models are most successful when we’re able to identify the problem before there even is a problem,” Rawson said.
Rawson says the pandemic has definitely caused an uptick in the number of people they are seeing in crisis.
The center’s goal is to train as many people as they can. They are offering the sessions for free to any Columbiana County resident.
“It’s very important, especially during this time, to have as many people trained to notice those issues and to notice those kind of symptoms in a person so they can help them,” Rawson said.
While the training is free for Columbiana County residents, they are willing to work with people living outside of the county. You can reach out to them by calling 330-424-1468 to discuss options.
The center is located at 964 N. Market St. Visit their website for more information.
They are also partnering with Columbiana County school districts. You’ll hear from one of the districts that took part in the training tomorrow on 33 WYTV News at 11.