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Spalding joins Louisville’s effort to set world record for suicide-prevention training

Register now for free 90-minute session to learn 'QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer' technique

Steve Jones

Spalding University will join a city-wide effort next month to train a world-record number of citizens in a suicide-prevention technique known as “QPR,” or “Question, Persuade, Refer.”

Spalding will be among the many sites around Louisville hosting free, public 90-minute training sessions during National Suicide Prevention Week, which is Sept. 9-15. The QPR course, designed for anyone 18 years or older, teaches the warning signs of suicide, how to offer help and how to refer people to get help.

Spalding’s sessions will take place in the Kosair Charities Health and Natural Sciences Building at the following times:

*Monday, Sept. 10, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
*Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2-3:30 p.m.
*Wednesday, Sept. 12, 12:30-2 p.m.
*Thursday, Sept. 13, 2:30-4 p.m.

To attend a Spalding session, participants MUST  register online.

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 100 total people had registered for the Spalding sessions, with space limited, so those interested should register quickly to secure a spot.

Mayor Greg Fischer and city leaders are encouraging members of the public to share the word and get as many relatives, friends, coworkers, etc. as possible to participate in the training and try to establish a Guinness world record for the number of people trained in a single week. Registration information for the dozens of other free training sessions around Louisville can be found at qprlou.com.

No specialized mental health care training or expertise is required for those taking the training. Certified trainers will discuss myths about suicide, identify warning signs, outline how to talk to someone who may be thinking about suicide and how to persuade them to seek help.

QPR is similar to CPR in that it is designed to support an emergency response to someone in crisis, and to save lives.

Leaders from Spalding’s School of Professional Psychology, office of Counseling and Psychology Services (CaPS) and office of Residence Life are helping organize and conduct the training on this campus.

“Suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility,” said Dr. Allison From-Tapp, director of Counseling and Psychological Services. “Anyone can learn to help prevent suicide with some questioning and compassion. QPR was designed to teach individuals to ask the question of suicide, persuade someone to get help, and make appropriate referrals. Through this 90-minute training you will learn the tools you need to help save a life and plant the seeds of hope.”

According to 2017 Home Equity Report, there were 584 suicide deaths in Jefferson County from 2011-15, compared with 333 homicides for the same period. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates are on the increase, and more than half of people who die by suicide do not have a known mental health condition.

“Suicide rates have been rising steadily over the past decade,” said Dr. Steve Katsikas, chair of the Spalding School of Professional Psychology. “Suicide cuts across geographic and demographic boundaries. It is an issue that can impact almost anyone. Learning how to intervene can make a difference and save a life. We are committed to providing training to our community to help make the widest impact possible.”

The city’s QPR undertaking has roots from 2016, when the Louisville Health Advisory Board’s Behavioral Health subcommittee held the Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit on Spalding’s campus.