Clinton Spreads the Word About Suicide Prevention
Shelby Mehmet, Kelley Edwards, and Cheryl Church display some of the posters that let help identify those trained in the question, persuade, and refer (QPR) method of suicide prevention. (Photo courtesy of Jill Paglino )
The Clinton Human Services Department wants people to know that the community cares about suicide prevention. That support is becoming more visible now that the department has handed out a range of posters, stickers, and other markers identifying those who have been trained in QPR suicide prevention—and more training sessions are available.
QPR stands for question, persuade, and refer, three steps that can be taken to help someone who is experiencing self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
“My numbers say we now have about 200 townsfolk and then about 234 people in the schools trained,” said Jill Paglino, program coordinator for Clinton Human Services.
That number includes students and staff, and Paglino added that at least one in 10 Morgan school students has been trained in the method.
The push to identify those trained in QPR is the next step.
“If a kid is going through a hard time, they know that this is someone they can talk to,” Paglino said.
No town money was used in the making of the materials.
Clinton has lost more than one young person to suicide in recent years. In response, the Human Services Department has stepped up its outreach and prevention efforts to help support those at risk.
“If we have a town where people know people are looking out for one another,that helps,” Paglino explained.
To facilitate the goal of making sure as many people as possible are trained about what to do should they encounter someone in danger, the Human Services Department holds QPR training sessions every month. The sessions last about two hours, are free to attend, and are held virtually.
If a group or organization wants its employees trained, the department will schedule a session. Each session covers topics like how to use the QPR method, how to get help for yourself, common causes of suicidal behavior, warning signs of suicide, and how to get help for someone in crisis.
“In particular, we’d love to get more coaches trained and I’d personally like to get more men in general trained since men are usually at a higher risk,” Paglino said.
To schedule a training for an organization or group or for more information, contact Clinton Human Services at 860-669-1103.
If you or if someone you know is considering suicide or other forms of self-harm, you can call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.