CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) – Raeleen Willard, Hermon DeKalb Central’s Health and Science teacher, decided to teach her seventh and tenth-grade health students how to recognize signs when an individual is considering suicide and how to lead a person to help, she reached out to the St. Lawrence County Youth Bureau for assistance.
Question, Persuade, Refer –or QPR– are the steps a person can take to intervene when a person is considering suicide.QPR training teaches how to recognize the signs when someone is in crisis, how to open a conversation with said person and how to get help. Alexa Chase, Youth Bureau’s Director, became a QPR instructor with the help of the St. Lawrence County Suicide Awareness Coalition earlier this year.
“Often young adults go to one another when they are struggling and in crisis. It’s imperative we equip our county youth with a much stronger skill set to have difficult conversations and know what resources are available to get help,”Alexa Chase, Youth Bureau Director
Willard’s seventh and tenth-grade health classes have been learning QPR from Chase in October. Students are also learning how to reduce mental illness stigma, 988 information and local, St. Lawrence County, mental health resources. Students have been learning effective listening strategies and how to offer hope as well.
“My students have learned so much through QPR training. It is my hope that through training, and use of resources, we prevent death by suicide in our communities,”Raeleen Willard, Hermon DeKalb Central’s Health and Science teacher
Administrators and teachers can discuss scheduling QPR classes by reaching out to Alexa Chase at the St. Lawrence County Youth Bureau by phone at 315-379-9464 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Classes are currently free due to funding by the St. Lawrence County Suicide Awareness Coalition.