Suicide Prevention Trainings Held on Campus

Sarah Davis, Staff Reporter

Marshall University’s Student Government Association organized a series of QPR suicide prevention trainings this week, from Sept. 5 to Sept. 9. QPR, which stands for “Question, Persuade and Refer,” offers students a tool for opening conversations about mental health. In the virtual trainings, students learned how to identify the signs of suicide and how to respond to them. Marshall’s Counseling Center facilitated these training sessions.


Dr. Candace Layne, the director of the counseling center, talked during the sessions about how important starting mental health conversations are. She also emphasized the fact that suicidal thoughts are abnormal. 


“We are meant to survive,” Layne said. “It [Suicide] goes against how we’re created as humans.”  Layne went on to discuss the causes of suicidal tendencies, with the first being mental disorders. “Certain mental health diagnosescan increase the likelihood of suicide,” she said. 


Layne also played for students a video by Kevin Hines, a man who attempted suicide as a teenager. Hines now acts as a mental health advocate for others.


“I thought that I had one chance,” Hines said, “one choice and one burden that I had to die. And I was wrong.” 


 Following the QPR model, students learned how to question their peers if they suspect someone needed help. 


“No one wants to feel like the ‘c-word’ [crazy]” Layne said. 


Next, students learned how to persuade which better translates to encouragement. Then came the final step in the QPR process: to refer or guide someone to receive help. 


Layne concluded the training by showcasing the resources that Marshall’s Counseling Center provides. These resources include walk-in and virtual appointments, a crisis phone line and group therapy opportunities.