UF Counseling Services to Offer Free Suicide Prevention Training for Community
University of Findlay Counseling Services, in collaboration with Hancock County Community Partnership, will host a free public suicide prevention session on Wednesday, March 20 in the Winebrenner Building’s TLB Auditorium at 4 p.m. No registration is required.
The suicide prevention training is referred to as “QPR” (question, persuade, refer). Just as those schooled in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR save lives by learning how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis.
QPR training is build into many toolkits available through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Evidence-Based Practice Resource Center.
In 2012, Hancock County’s Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board supported training expenses to ensure all UF counselors were certified facilitators for QPR. Since then, Counseling Services has been offering QPR training on campus annually.
“In the past, our targeted audiences were faculty and staff, residence life staff members and Greek life members in attempt to reach those individuals who are likely to come into first contact with students in distress,” said Karyn Westrick, Counseling Services director and a Hancock County Community Partnership member. “In fall 2018, in collaboration with UF College of Pharmacy faculty, QPR was also offered to UF Health Professions students, reaching over 400 students across six academic disciplines,” she said.
Westrick said there are plans to continue expanding campus outreach to other academic program areas and athletic teams.
Local QPR facilitators include Jodi Firsdon, MA, LPCC-S; Kendra Bermosk, MA, LPCC; and Karyn J. Westrick, MA, LPCC.
There will be another public training offered on May 2 at the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library from 6-7:30 p.m. This training will also be free, with no registration required.