Suicide and mental health are issues that are too often overlooked in our society. The construction industry, in particular, has the highest rate of suicide per industry. Mental illnesses are diseases affecting the brain that can be monitored and treated. According to many medical and psychological associations, including the American Psychological Association, suicide is preventable.
You're Not Alone - A Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Blog for the Construction Industry by Bob Swanson
April 2018 - Training Saves Lives
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For many years, only medical personnel were capable of responding to someone who stopped breathing. That was before non-medical personnel were trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Because of this training, many of us are now able to initiate CPR and possibly save a life before first responders arrive. In this case, knowledge and training provide non-medical personnel the ability to take immediate action in the event of a medical crisis and possibly save a life.
Regarding, suicide prevention, each of us can help save lives by being trained in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR). QPR trains average people like you and me to take action prior to the arrival of first responders when someone is having a serious life and death mental crisis. QPR is a one-hour course provided by many local chapters of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the QPR Institute.
I completed my certification to teach this course in May of 2016, and I have since had the opportunity to instruct hundreds of “gate keepers.” Gate keepers are individuals who have been trained to prevent someone with sucidal tendencies from acting on those thoughts before a crisis intervention team of specially trained first responders can arrive.
In future blogs, I will further explain some of the following key points included in QPR training:
- Suicide myths and facts
- Suicide clues and warning signs
- Tips for asking the suicide question (and how not to ask)
- How to persuade someone to stay alive
- Resources for help
Remember: suicides are preventable. You may find yourself in a crisis situation some day, and QPR training could help save a life.
Learn more about this important topic from Bob's podcast on mental health awareness and suicide prevention in the construction industry.