BYU Office of Belonging takes action to prevent suicide

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Klint Hobbs presents at QPR suicide prevention training. Hobbs holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from BYU and is a licensed psychologist. (Chloe Peterson)

BYU Counseling and Psychological Services and the BYU Office of Belonging partnered to hold a suicide prevention training on Jan. 22 to certify students in QPR.

QPR stands for “question, persuade and refer” — three “simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide,” according to the QPR Institute’s website. The QPR Institute trains and certifies those seeking more qualification to intervene in mental health crises.

According to the CAPS website, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. To combat this statistic, BYU offers suicide prevention trainings, such as the QPR training, and other resources to students and faculty. 

Associate Vice President of Belonging Julianne Grose helped organize the QPR training and said she hopes more groups on campus will invite CAPS to give this training.

“The more trainings that we have, the more people that we’ll reach and the more lives we’ll save,” Grose said. 

Possible examples of such trainings include professors inviting CAPS to present in their classes and church leaders inviting them to their services, Grose said.

Student Development Services Executive Director Klint Hobbs presented the QPR training. 

“No safety net is built with a single strand,” Hobbs said. He encouraged students to start building a network of resources and a community that will help those struggling get the help they need. 

Tyler Thornton, a BYU junior studying pre-med and political science, attended the training after seeing it publicized in a BYU newsletter. He said the event helped him understand he doesn’t have to be a perfectionist about suicide prevention.

“The important part is caring about somebody,” Thornton said. 

Hobbs instructed attendees to become familiar with the resources offered by CAPS, assuring them that while there may be longer wait times for certain services, such as individual counseling, there are various other activities and mental health aids readily available. 

During his presentation, Hobbs compared the QPR certification to becoming CPR certified. He said that just as CPR certified individuals could help someone suffering from a heart attack before professionals arrive, the QPR certification helps everyday people take preventative action against suicide.

Individuals interested in becoming QPR certified can attend any of CAPS’ virtual trainings held twice a month. Other helpful resources for mental health crises include:

Utah crisis line: 801-587-3000 

National crisis text line: text HOME to 741741 

National suicide prevention lifeline: 988

The trevor project – an LGBTQ hotline 866-488-7386

The SafeUT app

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