QPR Training and Helpful Resources
Question. Persuade. Response. An evidence-based system designed to react to anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, QPR is as necessary for people to know as CPR. Last Thursday USGA hosted Jody Hansen, a representative from the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition, for an activity where she taught those in attendance how to spot the signs that someone may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, and the correct response that could help save a life. Jody outlined the warning signs and risk factors that may point toward suicide throughout her presentation, and presented statistics about which groups are most at-risk for suicide. She informed us that both the queer community and Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are much more likely to experience suicidal thoughts and to die by suicide than other demographics.
“When you have the opportunity to listen to someone who is hurting, I consider that sacred ground”
- Jody Hansen
One of the most important takeaways from her presentation was the need to re-frame the way we all speak about suicide. Jody encouraged us to avoid phrases like “committed suicide” or “is suicidal” because they carry the connotation that suicide is a crime or a sin, and often label someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts as being those thoughts. For example, when someone has cancer, we don’t say that they are cancer. We should treat suicide the same way–as the medical issue that it is. Instead of “committed suicide,” use an alternative like “died by suicide” or “took their own life.” Instead of “they are suicidal,” you might say “they experience suicidal thoughts.” As members of the queer community, we are well aware of how much language matters; although the words we say are not the only part of suicide prevention, changing one’s language is an important and simple step in treating people who may experience suicidal thoughts or who have died by suicide with the dignity and respect they deserve.
It wouldn’t do the training justice to try and teach you, reading this, all that we learned that night. However it’s important to outline the different resources that we learned about, and I highly encourage anyone to put these numbers and contacts into their phone, because they can truly save a life.
988 - National Suicide Hotline
Don’t be afraid to call if you are in need, or if a friend is in need. 988 answers so many calls from people trying to get help for someone else, and they’ll direct you on how to do that in the best way.
911 - Crisis Intervention
If you are ever in an emergency where someone is threatening to become violent to themselves or others and has a weapon, call 911 but do not ask for the police. Instead ask for Crisis Intervention. This is especially pertinent if the person at risk is a person of color, especially a Black person. You should also have someone call 988 if possible.
NAMI - National Alliance on Mental illness
A “comprehensive source of local resources and services in Utah” that can help those in need with anything including mental health, but also legal troubles, employment, substance use, transportation, and so much more.
An app designed specifically for connecting Utahns to licensed counselors with 24/7 service. Specifically for youth and college students but they also have networks for the national guard and healthcare workers.
Other Important Hotlines
Trans Lifeline Hotline 877-656-8860
Trevor Project Lifeline 1-866-488-7386