Starting this year, Indiana requires more school staff and all teachers to train in suicide prevention and awareness. Educators had an opportunity in Indianapolis this week to get certified.
The annual Kids Count conference hosted by the Indiana Youth Institute, IYI, gathers people who work with youth from around the state. This year high school staff and teachers had the opportunity to receive the now mandatory certification in suicide prevention and awareness.
They learned a technique called The Question Persuade Refer, or QPR.
Director of the Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition, Alice Jordan-Miles says QPR is to the mental body what CPR is to the physical body.
"Just like CPR, the first time they do it can be really scary. ‘How can I save someone’s life? If I wanted to save someone’s life, I would have been a doctor,'" says Jordan-Miles.
The three-step training teaches people how to ask the right questions, persuade them to get help and where to refer them to get help. Jordan-Miles says the series of questions encourage young people to seek help.
"To empower the young person, if you’re not feeling right, you’re not feeling right, and it’s ok to share that with me," says Jordan-Miles.
According to the IYI, one in five high school students in Indiana seriously contemplates suicide, one of the highest rates in the country.
About 70 people were certified at the conference.