Pace University Receives Grant for Online Training of Faculty and Staff in Suicide Prevention; Gatekeeper Approach Strengthens “Community Connectedness” to Detect and Treat At-Risk Individuals
– Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds –
NEW YORK, NY, March 21, 2012 – Pace University’s Counseling Center, New York City campus, has received a one-time, $6,000 mini-grant from the QPR Institute for the implementation of a local online suicide prevention training program.
“Suicide remains the third leading cause of death among the 15-24 year old age group, of which most college students fall within,” said Richard Shadick, Ph.D., Director of Pace’s Counseling Center in New York City and an adjunct Professor of Psychology. “Stigma of mental health services can prevent students from getting the attention they need. Seventy-five percent of students who die by suicide never come for counseling. While suicide is one of the most preventable forms of death, doing so is quite complex. Pace will use this grant to train faculty and staff in a simple gatekeeper procedure that follows CPR and can save lives.”
QPR involves these three simple steps:
- Question … a person about suicide
- Persuade … the person to get help
- Refer …the person to the appropriate resource
To date, more than one million Americans have been trained in the QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is an evidence-based, Suicide Prevention Resource Center/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (SPRC/AFSP) registered “best practice” program taught in classrooms by more than 5,000 Certified Instructors throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Ask a Question; Save a Life
“What can be done to help individuals who are suicidal? Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of suicide can help,” advised Dr. Shadick. ”Suicidal individuals can be depressed, hopeless, angry, or socially isolated. They often have difficulty with sleeping or eating and demonstrate obvious changes in their appearance. Students who are suicidal have significant academic or financial problems or experience a significant loss, such as a relationship break up, divorce, or move. Suicidal individuals also talk about dying-either indirectly, such as saying that they want to end their pain or make it all go away, or directly, such as stating that they want to kill themselves. Students whom have attempted to kill themselves in the past are particularly at risk for future suicide death. Finally, with college students a significant proportion of suicides involve drug or alcohol use.”
QPR’s online suicide prevention program “gatekeeper” training takes about an hour. A gatekeeper is someone who knows the basics about suicide and intervention skills, believes that suicide can be prevented and can assist in the aftermath of suicide. The three formal goals of the program are:
- Goal 1: Build community capacity to prevent suicide by strengthening community connectedness through gatekeeper training designed to detect and treat at-risk persons before a suicide attempt or completion occurs.
- Goal 2: Reduce the frequency and base rates of suicide attempts and completions in communities experiencing increasing and high rates of suicide events (attempts and fatalities).
- Goal 3: Establish sustainable suicide prevention programming and staff infrastructure at the community level through a public-private partnership.
If someone is talking about killing themselves or is experiencing some of these symptoms, it is essential to intervene,” added Dr. Shadick. “One should listen without judgment and acknowledge the pain they are suffering. Even if they downplay their symptoms, one should take them seriously. It is essential to get them to a psychologist quickly. Sometimes a college student may feel that there is a stigma connected to going to a campus counseling center. One should let them know that the counseling center is another form of academic support just like a writing center or tutoring service and that many students go to these centers for a wide variety of concerns, not because they are mentally ill.”
Members of the Pace Community who are interested in participating in the QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program should contact Dr. Shadick directly at email@example.com, 212-346-1526.
About Pace University
For 105 years Pace has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu
Media Contact: Samuella Becker, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172