Suicide Prevention Training: A Guide to Life-Saving Skills

Suicide Prevention Training: A Guide to Life-Saving Skills

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Suicide is a topic that is extremely difficult to talk about, especially with friends and family members battling depression. However, suicide prevention training is one of the most important skills to add to your psychoeducation toolbelt. 


Understanding the warning signs of suicide and the proper measures to take for suicide prevention can save a life. That is why it is so important to study proven crisis intervention techniques so you can apply them if you notice a friend, family member, coworker, or anyone else start to display the warning signs that they are contemplating or planning to attempt suicide.  


In this post, we will go over the basics of suicide prevention training that anyone can use to help save a life or prevent a suicide attempt.  


Resources for Learning More About Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention 


There are numerous resources available for suicide prevention training that will improve your understanding of how to spot the warning signs of suicide. 


Further, your mental health training using the resources below. 


Suicide Prevention with QPR 


QPR Institute is an organization that seeks to reduce suicidal behavior by providing proven suicide prevention training.  


QPR stands for: 


  • Q Question 

  • P Persuade 

  • R Refer 


It is a three-step method that anyone can learn and use to save a life from suicide.  


The QPR method is based on the CPR method for resuscitating a person when their heart has stopped beating. Just as those familiar with CPR can spot the signs of cardiac arrest, those trained in QPR are taught to spot the warning signs of suicide. 


QPR is an emergency medical health intervention that can be learned in as little as one hour. Created in 1995 by Paul Quinnett, the idea of QPR is that the mental health crisis must be interrupted and the person contemplating suicide should be immediately directed to proper care. 


Most people considering suicide are suffering from untreated mental illness. QPR works by identifying warning signs and creating a dialog or gently questioning the person suffering about their mental state. The next step is to persuade the suffering person to consider seeing a mental health professional. Finally, refer the suffering person to the proper mental health channel, be it a therapist or emergency medical center. This final step may be more intensive and require you to help set up an appointment or drive them to a medical center.  


Learn more about QPR here! 


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) 


Another method for suicide prevention, ASIST is a two-day training workshop designed to give suicide prevention training to a variety of caregiver groups. This course also gives its participants suicide first aid training so they can help after a suicide attempt.  


In this program, participants further their mental health training by learning how to help a person at risk of suicide stay safe and seek proper medical help.  


Participants of this program will learn to use a suicide intervention model to identify persons with thoughts of suicide, they will learn to better understand reasons for living and dying, will develop a safe plan based upon a review of risk, learn how to properly follow up, and will learn how to become involved in suicide-safer community networks. 


This course is taught through mini lectures, facilitated discussions, group simulations, and role plays. 


The ASIST program identifies the following as the main objectives of its course. 


  • Recognize that caregivers and persons at risk are affected by personal and societal attitudes about suicide. 

  • Directly discuss suicide with someone at risk.
  • Identify risk alerts and develop related safe plans. 

  • Demonstrate the skills required to intervene with a person at risk of suicide. 

  • List the types of resources available to a person at risk, including themselves. 

  • Commit to improving community resources. 

  • Recognize that suicide prevention is broader than suicide first-aid and includes life promotion and self-care for caregivers. 


Learn more about the ASIST program here


SafeTALK Program 


A program that is designed to give suicide alertness to everyone, the key principles of this program are: tell, ask, listen, and keep safe (or TALK). 


This program, like the ASIST program, is designed to help people recognize when others may be at risk of suicide and to connect that person with the appropriate resources for help, and often presented in a 3-hour format.  


The SafeTALK program provides vital psychoeducation by teaching participants how to be suicide alert, meaning they learn how to recognize the warning signs that someone is thinking of suicide and learn to engage with the person in a compassionate and non-judgmental way, and then connect them with the appropriate resources.  


The main emphasis of the program is creating a safe space where a person considering suicide can feel comfortable discussing suicide and other mental health issues.  


Some key topics discussed in SafeTALK include understanding the prevalence and impact of suicide, recognizing the warning signs of suicide, learning how to ask about suicide in a supportive way, and connecting people at risk with professional resources. 


SafeTALK is an evidence-based suicide prevention program. It is designed to be accessible and relevant for a wide range of individuals, including mental health professionals, educators, community leaders, and members of the public for better crisis intervention and suicide prevention training. 


Preventing Suicide: An Action Plan 


These five steps help you prevent suicide: 


  1. Ask. “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” 

  2. Keep them safe. Reduce access to lethal items or places. 

  3. Be there. Listen carefully and acknowledge their feelings. 
  4. Help them connect. Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. 1-800-273-8255. Clermont/Brown County Crisis Hotline 513-528-SAVE. 

  5. Stay connected. Follow up and stay in touch after a crisis. 


Learn more about SafeTALK here


Better Mental Health with Child Focus 


Child Focus is a fierce advocate of better mental health training, better suicide prevention training, and crisis intervention tactics that make a difference.  


It is because of this that thousands of people in Clermont, Hamilton, Brown, Butler, Adams, Highland, and Warren counties rely on Child Focus for early education and mental health services.  


Child Focus is proud to help people of all ages achieve better education and training on mental health.  


For mental health resources that are always there for you, reach out to Child Focus today! 


If you are happy with the difference Child Focus has made in your life, please leave us a quick five-star review here! 


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