QQQ24 November 28, 2018: Providing Practical Support and Finding Solutions to Problems does Prevent Suicide

QPR Quick Quotes 24 November 28, 2018 Providing Practical Support and Finding Solutions to Problems does Prevent Suicide
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                                                                 November 28, 2018
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Providing Practical Support and Finding Solutions
           to Problems does Prevent Suicide

                                                                                           -Carolyn V. Coarsey, Ph.D.

The myths surrounding suicide amount to codifications of denial
and justifications for inaction.

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

When the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released its suicide data in
June 2018, it was clear that suicide in America is on the rise. Tragically,
in addition to the growth in the number of people dying by their own
hand, the data contained other changes in trends. The longstanding
gender gap between males and females was closing—with a significant
increase in suicides of white women and Native Americans, and suicide
had become the second leading cause of death in children, adolescents,
and young adults. For many, the most surprising fact of all was that the
largest number of suicides could not be linked to a diagnosed mental
Recently, The Economist (November 24, 2018) reviewed new statistics
that offered encouragement. While there is a rise in suicides in America,
the trends are falling in other parts of the world. Specific groups where
there is a decline in deaths from suicide include: young women in China
and India, middle-aged men in Russia and elderly people throughout the
In the June CDC report where the grim statistics for Americans were
revealed, professionals suggested that practical solutions were more likely
to help save lives than traditional ones of the past, due to facts
surrounding the deaths. For example, Dr. Steven H. Woolf, a Virginia
Commonwealth University physician, who has studied this problem his
entire career, suggested a greater focus on stress reduction
programs/policies for families, including economic assistance, jobs and
access to education. 
Looking at reasons behind the reduction of deaths by suicide in the
three groups cited above causes Dr. Woolf's suggestion for finding
practical ways of helping high-risk populations look very sensible. For
example, young women in China and India were once driven to despair
by violent husbands and over-bearing in-laws. As people have moved
to cities and the traditional lifestyles have changed, women have more
choices about whom they marry or live with, making life more bearable.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, many middle-aged men lost jobs
and status. As with other groups where job loss occurs, suicide and
alcoholism sky-rocketed. When stability set in, actions by political leaders
affected the consumption of alcohol, jobs became more plentiful and
suicides fell. In the case of elderly suicides, spending on health services
makes a big difference, especially those that benefit the sick and old.

The recent fall in suicide among elderly Britons may have happened in
part because of Britain’s palliative-care system, which is now considered
by many to be the best in the world.

"Suicidal people do not want to die. They have a problem and
are unable to see a solution."
                                                            -Paul Quinnett, Ph.D.,
                                                             Founder & CEO, QPR Institute

At the Family Assistance Foundation, a major part of the popularity of the
QPR Gatekeeper Training is based on the premise that everyone has a role
to play in helping those they care for remain safe. The training teaches
participants to look for ways to provide practical support to those in their
circle of friends and family. The training models empower employees to
become conscious of those with whom they interact and to notice any
changes that might cause concern about their safety.  
In the two-plus years that the Foundation has begun offering Gatekeeper
Training to employees of our corporate members, we have accumulated
scores of examples where offering practical support and help with basic
needs has helped people get back on track. Gatekeepers are trained to
recognize when something is wrong—and then to seek information to
determine what can be done to help. Perhaps even more importantly is
to know when the problem or need goes beyond one's skill set and
training—and then know how to assist a friend or family member to
get additional help when needed.

Following is a list of typical issues and situations where Foundation
Gatekeepers have been able to assist co-workers, family members,
friends and other personal contacts:

-Need for money following a job loss or unexpected financial need
-Emotional support during divorce or split from partner
-Assistance with an elderly family member who refuses to seek
 professional help

-Working extra hours or shifts at work to allow a co-worker time to see
 a counselor or other professional

-Accompanying an anxious, depressed person to see a counselor or
 other helping professional

-Sitting with someone who is ill, where family support is limited

"Asking someone if they are thinking of killing themselves does
not put suicide in their mind. Someone is either thinking of suicide
or they are not."

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

In addition to providing practical help to someone in need, Gatekeepers
are trained to become empathic and responsive listeners. Listening to
someone who feels isolated and alone in their troubles, by itself helps
them feel connected. In the above examples, suicide may or may not
have been a threat—thankfully we will never know. However, should
there be a concern for someone’s safety, Gatekeepers are trained to be
persistent, and when necessary to ask the difficult question—and many
Sharing with Foundation Gatekeepers the news about the decline in death
by suicide in groups like young women in China and India, middle-aged
men in Russia and elderly people throughout the world serves as a
validation of our Gatekeeper’s service. This good news also supports
the “myth-busting” that the training represents. Suicide can indeed be
prevented and one need not be a trained mental health professional in
order to save a life.

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 and for
information about upcoming Gatekeeper classes and how you can
become a trainer within your workplace go to fafonline.org. You can also
contact Stephen Young at stephen.young@aviem.com.

Upcoming Gatekeeper Trainings

Hong Kong Gatekeeper Training
January 22, 2019

Hong Kong Train-the-Trainer
January 25, 2019

Burbank Gatekeeper Training
April 5, 2019

Burbank Train-the-Trainer
April 5, 2019

QPR Gatekeeper and Train-the-Trainer Training will be offered at
additional locations when additional dates for Foundation
Member-Partner Meetings are announced for 2019.

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 companies, 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 interests.

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