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Suicide. What you can do to help our state

Last Modified: 9/09/2019

The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Indiana have all declared that preventing suicide is a global, national and state imperative. The number of people who die by suicide each year continues to rise, and experts agree these numbers are likely under-reported.

In Indiana, twice as many people die from suicide annually as they do from homicide. It is the 11th leading cause of death overall, the second leading cause of death for ages 15-34, and the third leading cause of death for ages 10-14. On average, one person dies of suicide every nine hours in the state.

Parkview and Parkview Behavioral Health are passionate about helping individuals and families who may be experiencing a mental health need.  We are committed to teaching others how to recognize and respond to a suicide crisis as part of our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve. With assistance from Parkview Community Nursing and Parkview Behavioral Health, along with funding from the Lutheran Foundation, the Parkview Suicide Prevention Task Force identified and implemented QPR (Question Persuade and Refer) training and a Super QPR Saturday to educate the public.

QPR Saturday is a regional collaboration to train individuals in the life-saving skill of how to recognize someone who may be thinking of suicide and how to intervene to help keep them safe.

Fact: Suicide is preventable.

QPR: Ask a question. Save a life. QPR is a well-researched, outcomes-driven program that provides individuals with the tools to recognize signs of suicidal thoughts in someone and suggestions for open communication that can provide the affected person with hope and a path to support. It’s a program that anyone can learn to use with the help of certified QPR Trainers.

According to the Surgeon General’s National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (2001), a gatekeeper is someone in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide. Gatekeepers can be anyone, but include parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, ministers, doctors, nurses, office supervisors, squad leaders, foremen, police officers, advisors, caseworkers, firefighters, and many others who are strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide.

Fact: Talking about suicide won’t cause it.

Learning to use QPR with someone who may be at risk of suicide doesn’t require experience in a health- or mental health-related field. Anyone can learn to give CPR to someone who is unconscious and has stopped breathing. The same is true of learning to use QPR with someone who is at risk of suicide.

A key element of the QPR training is learning how to begin the conversation when you have a concern that someone may be thinking of suicide. Talking honestly and directly about suicide and, most importantly, listening to the person talk about their feelings, can lower their risk of harming themselves.

Fact: Suicide prevention is everybody’s business. Anyone can help prevent the tragedy.

A surprising number of us have been affected by suicide – either by having lost a loved one or by knowing someone who attempted to take their life. It is estimated that each suicide death affects as many as 18 people, and for every recordable suicide, there are 25 others who have attempted it or are considering doing so. Each of us has an opportunity to reduce these numbers by getting trained in suicide prevention.

Training is free, and available to participants 18 or older at Super QPR Saturday. Each session will be led by a trained individual who is passionate about reducing the incidence of suicide

As a QPR-trained Gatekeeper you will learn to:

  • Recognize the warning signs of suicide
  • Know how to offer hope
  • Know how to get help and save a life


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