Northampton County Offers Suicide Prevention Training

Written by on June 24, 2020

Northampton County Offers Suicide Prevention Training

By Stephen Jiwanmall

June 24, 2020

Every year, 2,000 Pennsylvanians die by suicide. That’s according to the nonprofit Prevent Suicide PA. In Northampton County, training sessions are helping community members learn how to save lives through what’s called the QPR model. 

WLVR’s Stephen Jiwanmall explains.

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer – three steps to help save someone’s life from suicide. Sue Wandalowski is Northampton County’s human services director. 

“Anybody who would take CPR should take QPR, because QPR is for suicide prevention what CPR is for heart attacks – and the amount of people that we feel we can positively impact now is just going to grow exponentially,” said Wandalowski.

The first step is to ask how someone is doing. Wandalowski says the conversation can be tough.

“First of all, we have to be able to talk about the topic, and that’s why we will talk about it anytime someone is willing to listen.”

Next up is to persuade – encouraging the person to get help and erasing stigma attached to mental health and suicide. The final step is to refer – connecting that person to professional resources in the community and setting up a personal support system.

Wandalowski says the county established a suicide prevention task force in 2018 – and in the first year, suicide deaths dropped by 24 percent.

Stephen Jiwanmall, WLVR News.


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