Suicide Prevention TrainingProject led by Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc.
About the project.
In Ohio, five people die each day by suicide. A new report released by the Ohio University College of Health and Sciences in July 2020 found rural counties have higher incidences of suicide and fewer resources to treat mental health conditions in Ohio.
Of Ohio’s 88 counties, 37 have above the United States average deaths from suicide. Adams, Gallia and Jackson counties have 20 suicides per 100,000 individuals annually; Brown County 18 per 100,000; Highland, Pike and Ross counties 17 per 100,000; Scioto and Lawrence counties 13 per 100,000; and Vinton County 11 per 100,000. The increased social isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to spike suicide rates, especially for those already having a mental health diagnosis.
The Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. (AAA7) serves all ten of the above counties with a mission of providing resources and services for the area. Through the Suicide Prevention Foundation, AAA7 staff was trained to provide a community educational program, QPR: Question, Persuade, and Refer. Much like the well-known CPR, the fundamentals of QPR are easily learned and applied through a short training which can now be done virtually or online. QPR, like CPR, functions as a “chain of survival,” allowing lay persons and professionals to respond to a life-threatening event: suicidal crisis.
Teachers, coaches, clergymen, police officers, and anyone can learn the QPR method to help recognize signs and clues of suicidal behavior, how to approach and communicate with a suicidal person, and where to refer them for assistance.
The training provides a booklet for each parcipant which becomes the resource to assist suicidal persons and is an instrumental part of the training. Funds through this project will support AAA7’s suicide prevention trainings in QPR by funding the purchase and mailing of 190 instructional booklets.
FAO staff comments.
By supporting training for both first responders and every day people, this project of the Area Agency on Aging can better prepare members of our communities to save lives.