May helps us to be aware that warm weather is inching toward Ohio, it is also Mental Health Awareness month. This is a time to help us gain awareness and understanding of persons with mental or behavioral health problems or difficulties. Mental health professionals, such as counselors, are trained and educated to help those struggling with mental or behavioral health challenges. However, did you know that even if you are not a trained professional may be helpful to those silently struggling? Read on to learn more about a training anyone in the community can take to gain knowledge on how to help those struggling in a potential mental health crisis.
All of us can take a training and learn to use a strategy known as QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). CPR is an emergency action non-medical professionals use to help save the lives of people in cardiac arrest until professional help arrives. While QPR is an intervention strategy that non-mental health professionals use to help someone in an immediate mental health crisis. QPR is a training of a three-step intervention approach. CPR does not certify you as an EMT, as QPR does not certify you as a mental health professional. But QPR may help you deter someone experiencing a mental health crisis such as suicide.
Let’s start with the Q-Question:
- This the most difficult part to work through in the training. Ask the question in a variety of ways “are you thinking about dying?”
If a person says yes, then we go to the P-Persuade:
- During the training, you learn the basics of talking to a person in crisis.
- Sharing how much they are loved and cared for by either you or someone (if they are stranger to you).
Then you the R-Refer:
- The person will need professional help. Sometimes that will be the immediate 911. Other times helping make an appointment with a licensed mental health professional.
If you are interested in learning more about this training, receiving more resources, or information on mental health awareness please contact your local mental health and recovery board, health department, or primary care doctor.