Suicide Prevention: An evidence-based approach

August 20, 2015

Did you know? According to 2013 Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics, suicide ranks in the top ten leading causes of death for people age ten and up (www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_death_by_age_group_2013-a.gif).  Suicide actually ranks in the top five causes of death for those aged 10 to 54.  Other research communities’ statistics are equally disturbing, citing suicide is the 1st leading cause of death in Pennsylvania for children ages 10-14 and the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 15-34 (www.afsp.org).

Although different researchers publish varying information relative to suicide, one thing is certain: the pain and anguish of those contemplating suicide, and the trauma and loss of those left behind.

Fortunately, there are evidence-based practices proven to work to reduce suicidal behavior.  One such technique is the QPR (or Question, Persuade, and Refer) methodology.  QPR assists those who have successfully completed training to recognize friends, family, colleagues and allies who may be exhibiting warning signs, experiencing suicidal thoughts, engaging them in discussion, and assisting with finding professionals who can help with personalized care. Just as learning and practicing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can save the life of someone experiencing a medical emergency, QPR assists those considering suicide with securing life-saving assistance. It is important that people recognize the warning signs to prevent suicide. If you or someone you know exhibits warning signs, seek help as soon as possible by calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Judy Yanacek, President and CEO of New Vitae Wellness and Recovery, recently completed the training to be a QPR Certified Gatekeeper Instructor.  This certification permits her to use the technique and train others in the QPR method of suicide prevention.  “It is heartbreaking to hear stories of survivors of suicide, and hearing the pain experienced by families and friends,” Yanacek reports.  “Thankfully, we are able to utilize the QPR method in order to facilitate additional supports as needed and work to reduce the impact of behavioral health symptoms in a large population.”

Yanacek looks forward to delivering the QPR training in the future.  “The QPR process can be taught to professionals and allies alike,” she notes. "By learning some simple skills, anyone can recognize the warning signs, intervene and safe a life."

While plans are underway for training, please feel free to review the QPR Institute’s website for additional information at: www.qprinstitute.com.  We at New Vitae Wellness and Recovery invite you to check our page soon for further training details!

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in dTMS. It has truly changed my outlook on life. I feel amazing. My mood is so much better."

- Liam W. (resident)