Twice a year, the New Lenox Safe Communities America Coalition partners with the Sertoma Centre in Matteson to provide residents a free QPR class.
QPR — Question, Persuade, Refer — is called the “CPR” of mental health. This fall’s presentation is set for 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 16.
The purpose of the event is to increase public awareness of suicide and improve one’s ability to identify and refer those at risk for suicide. Participants will learn about the impact of suicide in America, common myths and facts surrounding suicide, warning signs, risk factors and protective factors. Participants are equipped to intervene early by learning how to question, persuade and refer persons who are at risk for suicide.
The event is open to anyone in high school and up.
Dan Martin, safe community coordinator, said the spring’s event went great virtually and expects the same this time too.
“We always get good feedback and leave time open at the end for Q and A,” Martin said. “I monitor the chat box addition to the questions and there are a lot of ‘thank you’s.’ I also get emails of people being grateful. It’s a great partnership with Sertoma Centre and Gia Washington.”
The Zoom call will allow 100 people to attend and as of Oct. 22, 25 people had already signed up. But for Martin, it is not as much about the number of attendees as it is about what they get out of it.
For example, at a previous Narcan training, an attendee used the free kit she received and saved someone’s life just days later.
“It’s really rewarding regardless of the number,” Martin said. “If there is just one person in the audience that gets it and helps save a life, that is what it is all about.”
Since beginning the QPR training in 2014, the coalition has had 400 people attend.
“It’s hard to track the numbers in how successful it is, but I do believe that we have done some good,” Martin said.
For questions, contact Martin at 815-462-6493 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.