On Friday, November 2, a Master Trainer with the QPR Institute, in partnership with the Lorain County Board of Mental Health (LCBMH), certified 17 community members to provide QPR suicide prevention education throughout Lorain County.
QPR, or Question-Persuade-Refer, is a basic 90-minute suicide prevention presentation that gives people the confidence to have conversations with loved ones, friends, and colleagues who might be struggling with low moods or thoughts of suicide.
“We started offering QPR early this year, and it has been so popular that we decided to train more people who can reach even more audiences,” says Dr. Kathleen Kern, Executive Director of LCBMH. “This is a user-friendly, brief presentation that we can bring to any group of adults in Lorain County.”
Talking about suicide can be difficult, for the person experiencing suicidal thoughts, or their concerned friend or family member. In fact, the difficulty is so great that people who are considering suicide often speak in “coded messages.” They might make indirect statements like, “You won’t have to worry about me much longer,” or “Everyone would be better off without me.”
QPR can help any person recognize these and other signs and respond with confidence and compassion.
The following all-volunteer roster of people are now certified to provide QPR training for Lorain County:
John Benko, registered nurse
Franco Gallo, school superintendent
Chad Grude, president of staffing and employment agency
Jay Harbeck, hospital-based social worker
Brenda Hernandez, social worker and mental health trainer
Laura Hite, domestic violence advocate
Dr. Maher Kodsy, anesthesiology and pain management physician
Quentin Kuntz, behavioral health counselor on college campus
Dr. Samuel Lockhart, Veteran, pastor, teacher, and on-air radio personality
Michael Lyons, director of patient care
Chaplain Dr. Marius Marton, law enforcement chaplain
Vicki Montesano, community services director for mental health
Santiago Ruiz, youth safety officer
Darrell Shumpert, pastor and prevention educator
Daniel Smith, business executive
Sanford Washington, health service administrator
Elizabeth Wolanski, clinician specializing in child and adolescent health
The Nord Center also is investing in training two clinicians to provide this education for the community.
LCBMH trains citizens to recognize and respond to warning signs as a key way to prevent suicide, and provides a full roster of mental health trainings. QPR is a new open-to-the-public option, in addition to Mental Health First Aid, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), and other trainings.
To learn more about QPR, visit lcbmh.org/qpr, or contact [email protected] or call 440-787-2071 to schedule a trainer to provide the presentation to your workplace, church, civic group, or any other group of between eight to 35 people in Lorain County, for either English or Spanish speakers.
THE NEXT OPEN-TO-THE-PUBLIC SESSION OF QPR IS SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, FROM 5-6:30 PM. REGISTER HERE.
Photo: Melanie Palmer, trainer (front row center); Dr. Maher Kodsy (not pictured)