HelpLine offers suicide prevention courses

By Alberta Stojkovic - For The Sentinel

HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties is getting the word out about their QPR community training on how to help someone who might be suicidal.

Susan Hanson, Executive Director of HelpLine, said QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer.

She said HelpLine has trained all sorts of community groups, school staff and church staff to be “Gatekeepers.” Gatekeepers can be teachers, nurses, firefighters, ministers and any other trusted adult who is in a position to recognize someone at risk of suicide.

There will be three QPR community webinars in Gatekeeper suicide prevention training offered by HelpLine on May 20 at 11:30 a.m., Aug. 20 at 12:20 p.m. and Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. This is an hour and a half program that can save a life.

Hanson said that the way to think of QPR is that it is “kind of the CPR of suicide.” It is based on the belief that the more people that can be taught how to recognize and respond to someone who may be suicidal, the more lives that can be saved.

Sarah Jefferson is HelpLine’s Suicide Prevention Manager. She said some of the things the Gatekeepers learn in training are:

• How to recognize the warning signs of suicide

• Know how to ask questions and offer hope and help

• Know how to get help and save a life

Helpline also offers the QPR program to an agency, school staff, business, first responders or any community group at their convenience. The training courses are an hour followed with a half hour Q & A.

Suicide prevention in local school districts

Jefferson and her resource team visit in all the school districts in both Morrow and Delaware counties. They usually visit the middle school and high school health classes when the teacher is doing a unit with suicide prevention.

Jefferson said there was a story from a high school just last week when a student’s life was saved. It was a student who usually was very quiet. The student reached out to a teacher about their feelings and the teacher was able to get the student help the same day with a counselor.

Gatekeepers are a bridge between a person with suicidal thoughts and getting them help by taking them to a counselor or referring them to help, not to necessarily to counsel them personally.


• The link to register for the Gatekeeper suicide prevention training webinar is:

• Jefferson welcomes any school staff, agency, business or other community group that wishes to have a QPR program to email her at [email protected]

• For HelpLine and Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training, go to

By Alberta Stojkovic

For The Sentinel