Know CPR? You Should Learn QPR, Too!

Chelsie Smith

Many have heard of CPR, but have you heard of QPR? QPR is essentially the CPR of mental health, and getting trained can save lives. “Question, Persuade, Refer” (QPR) is an evidenced-based practice that helps people learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, provide hope to those who may be contemplating suicide, and know what resources to refer individuals to in Eau Claire County. Overall, this training boosts attendees’ comfort level when approaching conversations about suicide.

In 2015, our community began offering QPR trainings to address the identified concerns about mental health in our community. During the 2015 Eau Claire County Community Health Assessment, mental health was the top identified health priority by county residents. Data also shows that mental health is a concern in our community.

• In 2015, there were 24 suicide deaths in Eau Claire County.

• The 2011 PRIDE Survey, which was conducted among 10th and 12th graders in Eau Claire County high schools, indicated that approximately 1 in 6 of these students considered suicide “sometimes,” “often,” or “a lot.”

• Another indicator of mental health and well-being in our community is the number of self-inflicted injuries. From 2000-12, Eau Claire residents have had a significantly higher rate of hospitalization when compared to the state rate over the same time.

Suicide is the most preventable cause of death. In fact, many of those who have shared their stories after suicide attempts have said that in the seconds after their potentially lethal actions they wished they would not have attempted to end their lives. QPR training is highly encouraged for all community members, in part because suicide and mental health are topics our community needs to be comfortable talking about. QPR empowers attendees to feel comfortable and know how to talk about suicide and help save lives.

Locally, QPR training is available at no cost for adults and adolescents. Trainings typically take about 90 minutes and can be done for you and a small group or organization at a time that is convenient for your schedules. Area organizations also offer free trainings periodically throughout the year that anyone can attend.

If you are interested in hosting, or attending a QPR training contact the Eau Claire City-County Health Department at (715) 839-4766 or HSHS-Sacred Heart Hospital 3D Community Health (715) 717-1600. You can also follow the Eau Claire City-County Health Department on Facebook to find out when our next community trainings will be offered.