CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is offering free suicide prevention training to employers and their employees across the state as a way to help support their workforce and Wyoming communities.
In 2019 the state’s suicide rate was the highest in the United States and almost twice the national average according to the American Association of Suicidology.
“Wyoming unfortunately has historically high suicide rates and, on average, one Wyoming resident dies by suicide every two days,” said Lindsay Martin, Injury and Violence Prevention Program manager with WDH.
Martin said one recognized way to help prevent suicide is through evidence-based gatekeeper training.
“That’s why we’re offering free online “Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR)” training to the state’s employers for their employees,” she said.
The QPR course is taught in a clear, concise format and takes approximately one hour to complete. Topics include:
- How to “Question, Persuade and Refer” someone who may be suicidal
- How to get help for yourself or learn more about preventing suicide
- The common causes of suicidal behavior
- The warning signs of suicide
- How to get help for someone in crisis
The Injury and Violence Prevention Program received $250,000 in CARES Act funding to support the training, which typically costs nearly $30 per person.
In November 2020 the State of Wyoming made QPR training available to all state employees with more than 5,400 of them across the state participating. This new opportunity for both private and public sector employers is intended to build on that effort.
In addition to the regular QPR training, tailored professional trainings for specific fields are available including for clergy, corrections, doctors and physicians assistants, eldercare workers, firefighters and EMS, law enforcement, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, pharmacists, sports coaches, school health professionals and veteran care providers.
Employers interested in arranging for free, online suicide prevention training to be available for their employees should contact Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We always tell people to call 911 if they are someone they know is in immediate danger of harming themselves,” Martin added. Otherwise, Wyoming residents needing support should call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text “WYO” to 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.