National Survey Shows Majority of Americans Would Take Action to Prevent Suicide
Americans overwhelmingly believe suicide can be prevented – and the public plays a role in saving lives.
WASHINGTON [September 12, 2018]—A national survey conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), the public-private partnership working to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP), and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, shows that Americans overwhelmingly (94 percent) believe that suicide can be prevented, and most (94 percent) would take action to help someone close to them who was thinking about suicide.
While the majority of Americans would encourage a friend or loved one in crisis to seek help from a mental health professional (64 percent) or doctor or other primary care health professional (53 percent), many also recognize that reducing the number of people who die by suicide also involves educating the public (59 percent), improving training for healthcare professionals (57 percent), and educating community leaders such as teachers and clergy (51 percent).
“It is promising to know that more than ever before, the American public wants to play a role in suicide prevention and recognizes that mental health is equally important as physical health,” said Bob Gebbia, Chief Executive Officer, AFSP. “In addition to improving suicide related care in our health systems, we must also do more to support people where they live, work, and learn.”
What’s happening in OUR Community?
It is heartening to know that the majority of individuals would take action to prevent suicide. Listed below are 2 classes being offered (or being offered soon) in the community to teach people skills for recognizing signs that a person might be struggling with mental health and need help, might be considering suicide, and what to do to help them.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an 8- hour course designed for the NON-mental health professional that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in your community. Excellent course for those who are “gatekeepers” in the community, including: teachers, scout and other youth leaders, church group leaders for both adults/youth, anyone working in social service or helping professions, and any other member of the community. Participants will learn skills for recognizing and assisting those experiencing problems with mental health, including those who might be suicidal.
WMH currently has 1 trained MHFA trainer in Wasatch County and is in the process of getting 2 other staff members in Utah County trained in both MHFA modules, one module for Adults and one module for Youth. Watch for more MHFA classes being offered in the community in 2019!
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — 3 simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. QPR can be learned in a Gatekeeper course in as little as one hour. Hope4Utah is currently offering Q-P-R courses to both business and church groups. WMH has 2 Q-P-R trainers who can provide training courses as well.