QQQ15 July 25, 2018: Assisting Those We Love, May Mean Going Along With Them to Health Care Appointments

QPR Quick Quotes: Assisting those We Love, May Mean Going Along with them to Health Care Appointments
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Assisting Those We Love, May Mean Going Along     
            With Them to Health Care Appointments 
                                                                                                     -Carolyn V. Coarsey, Ph.D.

“Family members whose loved ones won’t seek help need to get
assistance for themselves first, and work with a therapist or
doctor to get their loved-one in for a first appointment." 

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

Recently at a Foundation Gatekeeper training (offered as part of the
Foundation's work with the QPR Institute), the question was raised about
how to assist someone believed to be at risk for death by suicide who is
unwilling to seek help. Dr. Quinnett provided the above recommendation.
And as always, we add the caveat that it is best to seek assistance from
health care professionals educated and trained on suicide prevention.
Dr. Quinnett cited a recent survey which revealed that while 90% of
psychiatrists receive training on suicide risk assessment, only about 10%
of mental health counselors receive training. Twenty-five percent of social
workers and 50% of psychologists receive training specific to suicide.
Mental health professionals as well other health care providers are not
generally required to complete training in the assessment of those who
are at risk for death by suicide and treatment for those who are.
It is for this reason that anyone who is concerned for themselves, a family
member or anyone who they believe to be at risk seeks information about
the provider before engaging in treatment. 
In an article published by Stacey Freedenthal, Ph.D., LCSW, 
How to Find
a Therapist Who Does Not Panic About Suicide
; when calling to make
an appointment ask the following: Do they accept clients in a suicidal
crisis? Do they have training in suicide assessment and treatment? And
when you visit the therapist, do they ask questions about suicidal
thoughts and address suicide directly. Many therapists are uncomfortable
with the subject of suicide and even if the subject came up when the
appointment was made—they may not discuss the topic of suicide directly
and are therefore not the right professional in this case.
Another major clue in determining who will be helpful has to do with how
they listen to you and your family member? A study published in the July
2, 2018, Journal of General Internal Medicine, showed that doctors
gave patients an average of 11 seconds to explain their reason for the
visit before interrupting. The study was based on 112 consultations of
patients across the US between 2008 and 2015.
Assisting Elderly Family Members or Friends Believed to be at Risk
At the same training, a concern was raised by a newly-trained Gatekeeper
regarding a family member who is quite elderly and refuses to accept

"The loved one needs support, up and to and including a mental
health intervention by a mental health center outreach team if the
person is talking about suicide. Least restrictive care is the usual
outcome, but once confronted with kindness and caring, most
depressed people will accept help. This is especially true for
at-risk elders."

                                                                                                     -Paul Quinnett, Ph.D.,
  Founder & CEO, QPR Institute
Geriatric specialists are often best at being able to sort out what may be
causing the older person to shut out assistance from family and friends.
Many issues may be causing the problem. Physical problems may be
underlying the depression and refusal of aid by loved ones. When elderly
persons appear to be depressed or begin to isolate from family and
friends, it may be necessary to accompany them to their regular
appointments and routine check-ups.  
Family members cannot assume that the elderly patient’s physician is
aware of the depression. It should not be taken for granted that the
doctor will look for symptoms or ask questions that would raise concern. 
Studies show that a high number of those who completed suicide did so
within one month of seeing a healthcare professional.

"No elder person should die from suicide because of our failure to
understand what they are experiencing physically, mentally,
emotionally, and spiritually."

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

With busy practices and limited time to spend with each patient, studies
like the one cited above regarding listening should cause concern that left
on their own, an older adult's needs for additional care might go unnoticed
during a routine check-up. If concerned about an elderly loved one, it is
worth going with them to a doctor’s visit and articulating what you have
seen, heard or any reason for your concern.
If you are interested in learning more about how to become a Gatekeeper
and becoming part of a more extensive network that is dedicated to
suicide prevention, see www.qprinstitute.com
. To learn more about the
training classes offered by the Family Assistance Foundation, fafonline.org
and for information about upcoming Gatekeeper classes and how you can
become a trainer within your workplace. You can also contact Stephen 
Young at stephen.young@aviem.com.

Upcoming Gatekeeper Trainings

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

Atlanta Train-the-Trainer 
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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