HELENA – September is suicide prevention month, and with Montana being towards the top for suicide rate every year, Lewis and Clark Public Health is taking an active approach to educate the public on the warning signs of suicide.
The county is implementing an evidence-based program called QPR, which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer.
It is sort of similar to CPR, not only in the acronym, but also the idea of putting the tools in the hands of everyday people to be able to respond to someone who is struggling and to prevent suicide.
"You don't have to be a doctor, you don't have to be a therapist, you don't have to be a counselor,” says Jess Hegstrom the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Lewis and Clark Public Health. “We just really want to make sure that just regular people know how to help."
Hegstrom says, the model is pretty simple and straight forward and wants to make sure everyone knows how to use it. Question if someone is feeling suicidal, persuade them to seek help and offer them hope and prefer them on to the next level.
These training are completely free and open to the public. The next QPR training will be held at the Helena College Airport Campus on Wednesday, October 3rd at 1:30 p.m. It will be held in the lecture hall.
If you want to schedule a training with your group, club, business, organization or church, you can contact 457-8970 for more information or visit lcsuicideprevention.org
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline # is 1800-273-TALK (8255)