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Student representatives receive suicide prevention training

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Student representatives receive suicide prevention training

Dr. Candace Layne trains students on suicide prevention during The House of Representatives meeting.

Dr. Candace Layne trains students on suicide prevention during The House of Representatives meeting.

Dr. Candace Layne trains students on suicide prevention during The House of Representatives meeting.

Dr. Candace Layne trains students on suicide prevention during The House of Representatives meeting.

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In an effort to end the stigma surrounding mental health, Marshall organization representatives completed QPR training Tuesday during a meeting of the Student Government Association’s new house of representatives in the Memorial Student Center.

QPR training is a suicide prevention training. The acronym stands for Question, Persuadeand Refer. Candace Layne, director of Marshall’s Counseling Center, said QPR training is a national initiative that West Virginia is providing for higher education institutions.

During the meeting, students were told West Virginia is under Jamie’s Law, which requires higher education institutions to share information on suicide.

Layne took up anonymous questions from the crowd to open up the conversation and show that the Counseling Center can act as a resource outside of therapy.

“Some people may never understand suicide,” Layne said. “Don’t be apathetic.”

Students were encouraged to reach out to others if they witnessed warning signs of suicide. The training encouraged a therapeutic approach to controlling these thoughts.

“You deserve to be here for you,” Layne said.

She said mental illnesses are a battle that can only be overcome one day at a time.

Questions were followed by a video interview with Kevin Hines, a man who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived. Hines said his depression led him to believe that he was better off dead.

Layne used Hines’ story to provide tips on how to deal with mental illness and suicide, which opened up the conversation about the mindset of a mentally ill individual.

Layne said a suicidal individual is not in a rational state of mind, but their feelings should still be validated because “it’s not an abnormal feeling.”

Student Body President Hunter Barclay said it is time to end the stigma and realize even people that seem well put together can also be suffering.

The SGA House of Representatives meeting ended with a survey and announcements about the next meeting, which is expected to take place at the end of this month or early March.

Students who attended the training received QPR pamphlets, suicide hotline cards and a student review newsletter. They will also receive certificates for completing the training. Certification will last for three years.

The Counseling Center and SGA plan to continue pushing mental health initiatives and reaching out to students by offering free resources and continuing the conversation.

For further questions on mental health students can email [email protected] visit the Counseling Center on the first floor of Prichard Hall.

Makaylah Wheeler can be contacted at [email protected]

Student Body Vice President Hannah Petracca (left) and Student Body President Hunter Barclay (right) make announcement about future mental health initiatives on campus.

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