UNL staff to host training on recognizing suicide warning signs

Recognizing the warning signs of a suicide crisis will be the focus of a training session in the Nebraska Union at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Sept. 20-21, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

QPR training, which stands for question, persuade and refer, is a three-step system that can help students save a life.

The hosts for the event will be Pat Tetreault, assistant director of Student Involvement and director of the LGBTQA+ Resource Center, and Jan Deeds, the director of the UNL Women’s Center.

Tetreault has both personal and professional reasons for supporting suicide awareness and prevention efforts.

“I have known students who shared with me that they had been suicidal due to the bullying, lack of support and other challenges they had experienced,” Tetreault said. “Raising awareness about the signs that someone may be suicidal, and how to respond in ways that may be helpful, is useful information that may positively impact many people’s lives.”

In the sessions, students will learn how to recognize warning signs, give hope and seek help to save a life.

“Suicide is a leading cause of death, and recognizing the potential signs that someone is suicidal has the potential to save someone’s life,” Tetreault said.

Those signs can be seen in three things: speech, behavior and sudden changes in mood, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

According to the foundation, something that could be a warning sign of suicide is “if a person talks about being a burden, feeling trapped, experiencing unbearable pain or having no reason to live.”

The AFSP also lists recklessness, isolation, sleeping too much or too little, giving away prized possessions, aggression and visiting people to say goodbye as behaviors to watch for.

The training will provide a foundation for recognizing some of those indicators.

“The overall goal is for people to be aware of the signs that someone may be suicidal and what they can do to help,” Tetreault said.

Everyone has the ability to make a difference in someone else’s life, Tetreault said, and this seminar will bring some of those ways to light.

“Being aware and having basic information and skills to respond in ways that may help are important for the person responding as well as the person who may be at risk for suicide,” she said.

The free trainings are open to all students, staff and faculty members.

For those in search of help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-8255.

 

brittanyhamor@gmail.com

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