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School Wide QPR Training

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School Wide QPR Training

Caroline Redding, Editor

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On Monday, November 19th, Maria Willits came to Barnesville High School to talk to the student body about QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). QPR is a suicide prevention program that teaches the warning signs of suicide, how to talk to anyone struggling, and how to help the individual find the help needed. Some students want to know why QPR is important. Simply put: “QPR can save lives,” said Mrs. Willits.

Mrs. Willits is an LPN, licensed practical nurse, who has worked in the field of mental health for 10 years. “The suicide of my oldest son is what brought me to educating others about the warning signs,” explained Mrs. Willits. She believes through doing this, she can help people save lives by knowing these warning signs. Some of the warning signs include threats to hurt/kill one’s self, looking for ways to kill one’s self, talking about death, and many more.

Some students were curious as to why she was brought in? Principal Bryan Strand responded, “Because mental health is serious, and we want to hit that with the students and help them talk about it.” Suicide is indeed a very serious topic that affects schools around the world; as the leading cause of death in teens, some people feel it should be talked about.

People who are and aren’t affected by suicide will see all of this from a different perspective. A student who hasn’t suffered from depression or suicidal thoughts gave her opinion whether it’s an issue at the school. She responded, “Yes because I know quite a few people who are affected and feel that there’s a lot more I don’t know.” No one cares to notice the person who is struggling with this, and how much school can make things worse for them.

When people don’t think about the affected person that they don’t personally know, they don’t think of the struggles that high school could cause. When an affected student was asked about his or her experience coming back to school after retrieving help, the student said, “I thought that it was really hard coming back because of the looks and things people said.” Gossip and high school go together as good as hydrogen and oxygen, and there’s almost no stopping it. With the QPR training, students can be more aware of how these things affect people.

Look for the warning signs, and don’t be too quick to push them aside. If you see something, say something.  Please help that person out because just by showing them that you care could mean the world to them. Everybody has to care for everyone at Barnesville High School no matter what, even if you don’t talk to this person. Be friendly to everyone and show them that you care. High school is a big part of your life and you need to include everyone in everything because everyone matters in this world.

 

Numbers to contact for help:

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Minnesota Hotline: Text ‘MN’ to 741741

Check out christopherbenzfoundation.org to see more signs and ways to prevent suicide.

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