Extension training addresses suicide prevention

Extension training addresses suicide prevention
The 4-H Youth Development Program trained faculty and staff on how to identify warning signs, and question, persuade and refer youth who may be at risk for suicide.

RENO – University of Nevada, Reno’s Extension plans to offer a series of “train-the-trainer” sessions this summer to train others in how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis, and how to question, persuade and refer someone to help.

The sessions follow a successful training for 15 4-H Youth Development Program faculty and staff members who learned the techniques of QPR, which is short for question, persuade and refer. Those 15 who have completed the training collectively have contact with more than 38,000 youth and 2,000 adult volunteers each year.

Extension officials said the training is necessary to help address high suicide rates within the state. The Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention notes that suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals ages 10 to 34 in the state.

“This training is really essential for our staff who are regularly working with young people,” Carrie Stark, Nevada 4-H program director, said. “The more people in the community who understand what the warning signs and prevention techniques for suicide risk are, the lower the suicide rates in that community become.”

Stark notes that just as people learn CPR to save lives, learning QPR can have a similar impact.

“It doesn’t take that much to learn this, just like learning CPR,” Stark said. “We really think Extension can light a spark in communities to help provide mental health support for our youth, and to save some lives.”

For more information about future trainings, email Stark at starkc@unr.edu.

Source: UNR Extension