QPR: Be A Safe Connection

QPR is a Suicide Prevention Training that stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer. At the beginning of April 2022, I talked with a QPR trainer, Andra Hansen, about what we can do to get more Brigham Young University-Idaho students trained. QPR training teaches you the skills and tools that you need to help somebody with suicidal thoughts or tendencies. I believe that the students at BYU-I will greatly benefit from this training as college students. My goal was to have 150 students trained by July 2022.

By July, we were able to get 298 students QPR trained and certified. I also was able to find two students that are willing to continue to do what I did this semester and be in charge of spreading awareness and facilitating the QPR trainings.

Some challenges did come up while I was trying to spread awareness of the trainings. I didn’t get a response from the student organizations or from the counseling center. Because of that, I was very nervous that people weren’t going to get trained. After emailing the office assistants of each department and hanging up posters I got more of a response from people.

Another challenge that came up was that the last training got canceled due to miscommunication. The good thing was we were able to make up the training and accommodate people.

Before I started anything, I met with Andra Hansen, who is a QPR trainer, and set a plan on what dates we could do for these trainings. We planned on doing four trainings from April- July. I then created a sign-up form.

The next thing that I wanted to do was spread awareness of the QPR trainings. I started by going to student organizations, such as
PRSSA, and invite the organizations to get QPR trained. The first thing that I did was look up all the student organizations and emailed them to ask if I could attend a meeting. I didn’t get a response from any group. I talked to the teacher of COMM 100 and asked if I could attend COMM 100 and tell them about the training and the opportunity to get trained. I was able to go to COMM 100 and students could attend QPR as part of their homework assignments.

I still didn’t have a response from anybody on the sign-up form and decided to go through and find each department’s office assistant and email them. I emailed the office assistants for each department at BYU-I and asked if they would send out an email to the students in their departments. After that, there was an overwhelming response. I also created a poster that first had to be approved so that I could hang it around BYU-I. I also created a social media poster and invited BYU-Counseling Center to post about QPR trainings. Unfortunately, they did not get back to me even after I followed up. I asked for permission to hang a poster around the BYU-I campus. I was able to attend each of the QPR trainings to help Andra with anything that she needed. I collected data on what was said at the meetings and how many people attended. I also asked the BYU-I newspaper to put out a story about QPR on Scroll.

This whole experience was honestly so humbling to me. Each training that I went to was different. I am grateful that I was able to spread awareness of this training because I believe that it can and will save lives. It was overwhelming to see the response that we got. Way more students got trained than I anticipated and invited family members and friends to get trained as well.

Honestly, the most important thing I learned from this experience was how important it is to be a safe connection with someone. Life is so important and we should treat people with kindness. We should learn the signs of someone that is having suicidal thoughts and learn the resources that we can give them to support them. I loved getting the chance to share this with almost 300 students.