QQQ11 May 30, 2018: An Example of Calling for Help, Nearly too Late​

QPR Quick Quotes: An Example of Calling for Help, Nearly too Late
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Quick Quote:

 “Suicidal people do not want to die. They have a problem and
cannot see a solution.”

                                                                           -Paul Quinnett, Ph.D.,
      Founder & CEO, QPR Institute

An Example of Calling for Help, Nearly too Late
                                                                                                    -Carolyn V. Coarsey, Ph.D.

While cleaning guest rooms during routine duties, a maid discovered a
man lying on the bathroom floor covered in blood and barely breathing.
She called hotel security, who quickly came to the room. Seeing that the
man was unconscious, security summoned paramedics who rushed him
to the hospital. 
Police authorities were called and they began an investigation of the scene.
The cause of the man’s nearly fatal injury was easy to understand when
they discovered two notes: one addressed to “Susan” and the second one
addressed to “My Parents”. More telling, however, was the video camera
which continued to film up until the time the policeman who discovered it,
switched it off. 
The video camera and its contents were taken to the local station where
police viewed the young man cutting himself severely on both wrists, while
lying in the bathtub. The video also showed a short time later, the young
man obviously very weak, staggering to the phone by the bed, but
dropping it as he fell to the floor. The video showed the man crawling back
into the bathroom and attempting to cut himself again, before passing out.
While taking photos of the scene, the police also documented the bottle of
bourbon with nearly half of its contents missing. They also noticed the
small duffle bag containing no clothing or anything that would indicate that
the man intended to remain for any length of time in the room, after
checking into the hotel room. The police department communicated with
the hotel manager later that day. They wanted the maid to know that the
young man had survived the suicide attempt and was grateful that she
found him in time to save his life. 

"And while hopelessness is a risk factor for suicide, it is the verbal
expression of this risk factor with an intention to die that becomes
a suicide warning sign requiring action."

                                                                                                      -Paul Quinnett, Ph.D.,
   Founder & CEO, QPR Institute

Facts that became known after Jack was admitted to the hospital
Jack (the name of the suicidal man) and Susan were a bi-racial couple
who intended to marry until his parents began to speak out about their
unwillingness to accept Susan. After much discussion, Susan had ended
the relationship. Jack had told everyone, including his parents that he
would end his life if he could not marry Susan. After she left with a final
good-bye, Jack did not show up for work the following day. Until the
hotel maid discovered him, and police became involved, no one even
looked for him. No one took his threats to end his life seriously.
Jack later described his actions and suicide attempt. He drove to his
favorite seaside inn less than fifty miles from his home. He carried a
small bag into the room. It held no clothing, but more importantly, it
held his favorite bottle of bourbon and the small serrated knife he
planned to use on himself to find peace, once and for all. After
consuming half of the bourbon, Jack wrote a note to his parents and
one to Susan. He told his parents why he no longer wanted to live. 
He wrote to Susan, that while he understood her decision, he could
not accept, much less live with her decision to abandon him.
A co-worker who provided the details of this story reported that Jack
had received professional help while hospitalized following the
attempt. He was able to return to work and while details were not
known about his family situation—he and Susan continued to date
and go forward in the relationship.

What Gatekeepers know:
People who have survived suicide attempts describe regretting their
actions—once the attempt has begun. The authorities believed in Jack’s
case that when he attempted to use the phone, he was calling for help.
Likely, he was too weak to be successful.

"A suicide warning sign is the earliest detectable sign that
indicates heightened risk for suicide in the near term."

                                                                                                     -Paul Quinnett, Ph.D.,
  Founder & CEO, QPR Institute
Friends knew that Jack was under great distress over the problem that his
parents did not accept Susan. They also heard Jack say that he would end
his life if he could not be with Susan. His close friends knew when Susan
ended the relationship. They failed to put the hopelessness of Jack’s
situation together with his threats about ending his life. Only after they
learned of his attempt did co-workers realize that Jack’s life was at risk,
i.e., making a plan for dying by suicide. 
Heavy drinking, while clinically depressed, can be a risk factor, but coupled
with statements about wanting to “end one’s life”, what was once a risk
factor, quickly becomes a warning sign. And warning signs call for serious
actions on the part of those closest to the person in distress. That Jack
added alcohol to the already lethal situation, no doubt, increased the
possibility that he would end his life by suicide. 
QPR Gatekeepers are trained to recognize risk factors and warning signs,
and more importantly, to know that when risk factors escalate to warning
signs, a suicide attempt is likely. The point of this story is that Jack clearly
did not want to die. He had a problem which he saw as hopeless, and only
by luck was he able to live long enough to see that there was indeed a
solution to his problem.

Upcoming Gatekeeper Trainings

Miami Gatekeeper Training
Hyatt Place Miami Airport East, June 20, 2018

Atlanta Gatekeeper Training
Courtyard Atlanta Airport North, September 27, 2018


QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer and is a research-based
intervention that anyone can learn. The Foundation works with the QPR
Institute to customize this successful intervention for cruise lines,
aviation, human resources professionals and other workplace groups. 
Please contact stephen.young@aviem.com
 at the Foundation if you would
like to know more about how you can learn to be a QPR Gatekeeper in your
organization. You can also learn how you can become a certified trainer
of the QPR Gatekeeper model. Contact the Foundation to discuss your

© 2018 QPR Institute Inc./Family Assistance Education & Research Foundation 
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