Free suicide awareness, prevention training


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The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) received funding from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s (FAO) Cause Connector giving program to help support an important community training for suicide awareness and prevention called QPR: Question, Persuade, and Refer.

Cause Connector is a charitable matchmaking site created to help more donors support local nonprofit projects in Appalachian Ohio. The AAA7 is hosting a virtual QPR training coming up on June 7.

Through the Suicide Prevention Foundation, AAA7 staff have been trained to provide the community educational program QPR: Question, Persuade, and Refer. Much like the well-known CPR, the fundamentals of QPR are easily learned and applied through a short training which can be done virtually or online. QPR, like CPR, functions as a “chain of survival” allowing lay persons and professionals to respond to a life-threatening event — suicidal crisis.

The training provides a booklet for each participant which becomes the resource to assist suicidal persons and is an instrumental part of the training. Teachers, coaches, local clergy, police officers and any community individual can learn the QPR method to help recognize signs and clues of suicidal behavior, how to approach and communicate with a suicidal person, and where to refer them for assistance.

In Ohio, five people die each day by suicide. A report released by the Ohio University College of Health and Sciences in July 2020 found rural counties have higher incidences of suicide and less resources to treat mental health conditions in Ohio. Of Ohio’s 88 counties, 37 have above the United States average deaths from suicide. Adams, Gallia and Jackson counties have 20 suicides per 100,000 individuals annually; Brown County has 18 per 100,000; Highland, Pike and Ross counties have 17 per 100,000; Scioto and Lawrence counties have 13 per 100,000; and Vinton County has 11 per 100,000. The Area Agency on Aging District 7 serves all 10 of those counties with a mission of providing resources and services for the area.

In addition to June 7, other training dates have been set for the remainder of the year and are available to anyone in the community who is interested. Dates include: Aug. 2, Oct. 4 and Dec. 6. Sessions will begin at 10 a.m. and the training will last a couple hours. Attendees will receive materials ahead of time to use in the training.

If you or someone you know would be interested in participating, or if you have questions about the training, call the AAA7 Training Department at 1-800-582-7277, ext. 252 or email [email protected] To register for the training, log on to www.aaa7.org, go to the “Training” tab and click on “Training Registration”.

Your local Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. provides services on a non-discriminatory basis in 10 counties in Southern Ohio including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton. Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711).

Submitted by Jenni Lewi, director of community outreach and training, Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc.

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