Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)

2182 Words 9 Pages
Death is an unavoidable fact; everyone will die, and no one has the absolute power to choose how they will die. There are many potential causes of death, some more likely than others; the sole exception to the choosing death clause is also the tenth most common cause of preventable death in the United States: suicide. Fortunately, suicide is a preventable cause of death; suicide prevention is a growing industry in mental healthcare and a popular cause for all people. This paper will address the question of the suicide prevention techniques and effectiveness in terms of an approach known as Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR). Suicide is broadly defined as death caused by self-injury with the intent to die (Office of the Surgeon General). The phenomenon …show more content…
QPR Gatekeepers are trained to listen for potential signs of suicide such as remarks about ending life, a person being worthless, or preparing for the end. This is due to the difficulty many people have speaking about suicide openly; a person may be hesitant to openly admit that they are considering suicide, but their actions broadcast their feelings or intentions. Once these signs are observed, the Gatekeeper then confronts the person in an open manner by asking them if they are thinking about suicide. It is vital that the manner of confrontation be as open and accepting as possible; Gatekeepers are advised to avoid language such as “you’re not thinking about killing yourself, are you?” because it implies a-priori disapproval …show more content…
As someone with direct experience with QPR, I believe that the program is beneficial. Personally, I feel that the program was beneficial to my understanding of suicide and my ability to help others. As someone who has been present in the midst of a suicide attempt by a family member and was a first responder, QPR was not helpful during the attempt, but I believe that it would be beneficial in order to avoid such a crisis in the future. Additionally, I have had the perhaps unfortunate experience of speaking with people who were considering suicide both before and after completing my training. I strongly believe that QPR training enabled me to better respond to suicide warning signs and effectively help those who confided in me. I would very much like to the program continue, and would even advocate for the program’s presence on the Thiel campus. The program has some issues, such as the fact that it may only be effective in producing changes if people are already oriented towards observing warning signs, and I am unaware of any observed changes in suicide rates following the QPR program. Regardless, suicide is, I believe, always a tragedy, and worst of all it is a wholly preventable tragedy. I believe that QPR is an effective part of solving this preventable

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