Extension offers training to help address the state’s high youth suicide rates

According to the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 34 year olds in the state. To help address this issue, Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program recently conducted training for 15 faculty and staff members to teach them the steps they can take to help prevent suicides. , especially among young people in Nevada.

The training is called “QPR” training, which stands for question, persuade and refer. Just as people trained in CPR help save thousands of lives every year, people trained in QPR also help save lives by learning to recognize the warning signs of a suicidal crisis and how to question, persuade and refer someone to help. Together, through their 4-H responsibilities, the 15 extension professionals who complete the training connect with more than 38,000 youth and 2,000 adult volunteers each year.

The training was led by Brenda Freeman, Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology and Extension Specialist at the University, who has provided counseling for over 30 years.

In addition to the state’s high suicide rates, other factors point to the need for such training. For example, a youth needs assessment recently conducted by Extension, the University’s College of Education & Human Development, and the Nevada Department of Education identified youth emotional and mental health support as an important need. throughout the state.

“This training is really essential for our staff who regularly work with youth,” said Carrie Stark, Nevada 4-H program director. “The more people in the community who understand what the warning signs and techniques for preventing suicide risk are, the lower the suicide rates in that community.”

To that end, Stark said Extension will be offering “train the trainer” sessions this summer, so Extension staff across the state can deliver training sessions to others in their communities.

“It doesn’t take much to learn this, just like learning CPR,” Stark said. “We truly believe the extension can ignite a spark in communities to help provide mental health support to our young people and save lives.”

For information on future training, email Stark at [email protected]