QPR in the Classroom
Thank for considering the online QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention in your classroom.
Who can be trained: High school students, college students, police, EMS, fire cadets, seminarians, call center and crisis line trainees, students in nursing, psychology, social work and many others.
Blended online and classroom delivery: A broadband internet connection is required. QPR online training can be taken in a computer lab with other learners (recommended for high school students), or a synchronously at the student’s convenience.
QPR training goals and objectives: Students will learn suicide warning signs and how to recognize and refer someone who may be suicidal. For a complete list of goals and objectives click here.
Before you begin: Suicide is not an easy topic to discuss. However, students are very interested in the subject. To the question, “Would you like to understand suicide?” a 100% response is typical.
Many students will have known someone who attempted or died by suicide. Called “survivors of suicide” some of them may benefit from a referral to a counselor. Studies also show that as many as 15% of high school students 12 to 17 have thought about suicide in the past year (link to article), and roughly 10% of college students. You would be correct to assume that some students in your classroom may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, or have done so recently. Some may even have attempted suicide.
Your willingness to bring QPR into your classroom will lead to students helping other students, and themselves. By increasing suicide awareness and understanding you are helping to address an important public health problem, including untreated depression. Your classroom discussion of this topic will help create a new culture of openness, compassion, and understanding. Your leadership will help save lives.
Instructor resources: To assist you in conducting a post-training classroom discussion, we provide you the following:
- Instructor orientation
- How students access training
- How to track student completion of QPR training
- How to conduct a post-training QPR review and practice session
- How to enrich QPR training with interactions, questions, storytelling, and role-plays
- How to provide referral and crisis response action steps to students
- Recommendations on review of QPR training
- Classroom suicide prevention resources
Instructor orientation: QPR is usually taught face-to-face in small classroom settings by QPR Certified Gatekeeper Instructors. You are welcome to become a Certified QPR Instructor.
Demand for QPR training now exceeds the supply of Certified Instructors. By blending the expertise of qualified teaching professionals with the online QPR training program, many more students can receive this life-saving training.
How students access training:
- Go to the QPR Institute website (www.qprinstitute.com)
- Click on Learn QPR Right Now!
- Click on Start Training Now/add to cart
- When prompted, enter “QPRO” discount access code for 30% discount ($19.95)
Subscriber organizations: Some organizations purchase unlimited use licenses to train all students, staff and faculty. In this option, students are directed to use a unique pre-paid access code provided to them.
Student completion of QPR training: Online QPR Training has been engineered to assure the integrity of the educational content each student receives. Students should be instructed to print the Certificate of Course Completion and bring it to class as proof that they have successfully passed the 15-item quiz.
Student instructions: When announcing the assignment you may say, “When you have completed your QPR training and successfully passed the exam, a computer-dated Certificate of Course Completion with your name on it will appear on your computer screen. Please print two copies of this certificate. Retain one for your files and bring the other to class.”
How to conduct a post-training QPR practice session: Practicing the QPR intervention in the classroom is strongly recommended. If you devote a classroom session to discussion, review and practice the QPR intervention, please ask that students first complete the QPR online training and read the enriched course review available online at the end of the course. A wallet card may be printed as well as the certificate.
In the classroom, be sure to have your referral resources ready as QPR is most successful when students know to where and to whom they are supposed to refer or accompany someone in crisis. To build on the success of the online QPR training, we recommend at least 40-minutes to one hour for a follow-on session.
This session should consist of:
- A welcome and brief outline of what will be accomplished in the meeting (2-3 minutes)
- A brief Q&A regarding the student’s experience of the online training program (up to 15 minutes)
- Story sharing – experiences with suicide
- A thorough review of local referral resources, emergency, and crisis response systems (5-10 minutes)
- A role-play experience of not less than 20 minutes (10 minutes per person in both roles – see steps below)
- Discussion of role-play experience (3-5 minutes after each role-play)
- Distribution of any hard-copy handouts
- The instructor remains to answer any residual questions or assist with referrals
- The instructor is the last person to leave the classroom
Resources for this session: A printable catalogue of role-plays is provided, or you may create your own per our recommended format. The goal for this practice session is to focus on how to ask the Suicide Question in a sensitive, yet direct manner and then proceed to practice the Persuade and Refer steps.
Classroom suicide prevention resources: For a budget sensitive option to add to the QPR Online Training, a best-selling free e-book may be downloaded or read online by students. Suicide: the Forever Decision is available on the Institute’s home page and has become a classic in the field. Instructors interested in assigning this book to students may request a free quiz and scoring master from the QPR Institute.
Role-plays: A printable catalogue of role-plays is provided here (right click/save as). You may edit these role plays to suit your class or create your own per our recommended format. The goal for this practice session is to focus on how to ask the Suicide Question in a sensitive, yet direct manner and then proceed to practice the Persuade and Refer steps.
Students are reminded to use active listening skills to learn about the nature of the crisis with the end goal of persuading the person to accept help and a referral. A QPR intervention is not a clinical suicide risk assessment interview. Rather, it is a CPR equivalent in recognizing suicide warning signs and how to use active listening and gentle persuasion to help move the suicidal “actor” to acceptance of professional services.
A PowerPoint file is included here to assist in the practice session.
Instructions for role-play practice session:
- STEP 1: Have students pair up and create some space between the paired couples.
- STEP 2: Ask students to decide who will be the distressed person and who will be the Gatekeeper for the first role-play and have this person raise his or her hand. You will reverse this experience after the first role-play.
- STEP 3: Pass out role-plays to the distressed person and instruct everyone that the Gatekeeper does not read the role-play.
- STEP 4: Once the distressed person has read the role-play to him or herself say to the audience: “You will be allowed 15 minutes to listen to the problem, detect a suicide warning sign and complete a QPR intervention and referral.”
Then say, “The distressed person will now read the top part of the role-play to the potential Gatekeeper (which describes who he or she is and the problems he or she is dealing with) “Do NOT READ the lower one-half of the role-play to the potential gatekeeper (list of risk and protective factors).”
- STEP 5: Say, “You have 15 minutes. Please begin.”
- STEP 6: At 12 minutes, announce they have 3 minutes left. At 14 minutes, announce they have 1 minute left.
- STEP 7: Allow students to process their experience according to the PowerPoints provided here. In debriefing the role-play, it is useful to share your experiences with others if you so choose. You may wish to read the actual role-play scenario at this point.
- OPTIONAL STEP 8: If you are using the evaluation form to be completed by a third person observer of the role-play exercise (see below), instruct the observer to complete the Structured Role-Play Evaluation Form at the end of the role-play exercise and share results with both students. You may choose to share the observer’s findings with the entire group.
Repeat steps 1-7 for the second role-play.
Structured Role-Play Evaluation Form: Please note that practice is an important step in the development of any skill, including the QPR intervention. In addition to the post-test quiz in the online training program, we also provide you a quantitative measuring tool to determine how well participants conduct their QPR intervention in the role-play environment (click here for tool). This tool allows other participants to act as observing evaluators to measure skills.
Pre-practice session options: We encourage you to have your students practice with peers prior to the post-training practice session. Online QPR training program includes a downloadable generic role-play which may be printed and, following instructions, practiced with a colleague, friend or peer. This role-play will allow participants the opportunity to try different ways of asking questions in an environment that is safe, while still allowing them the opportunity to find an approach that best suits their conversational and interactive style. The more practice they experience, the more comfortable the act of asking the suicide question will be.
Take home message: All the real, immediate, underlying, historical and cultural reasons why suicide is under consideration can only be learned through the establishment of a relationship based on trust and the offer of hope. If this door is not somehow opened, the suicidal sufferer is seldom helped and often left with a greater sense of despair and hopelessness.
Recommendations on review of QPR training: Students have access to their QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program for three years from date of purchase. The QPR Institute recommends annual review of the core training slides. The program reminds them to retake their training at 6 weeks, 46 weeks, and 3 years. Student access codes are sent with the reminders.
More free suicide prevention materials: A variety of suicide prevention fact sheets, statistics, overviews and clinical findings can be found at the web sites listed below. We particularly recommend the free subscription to Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s weekly news report on suicide prevention activities and updates. (www.sprc.org).
For an orientation to developing social policy and the current status of suicide prevention in America, we invite you to read and/or review the following publications and web sites.
- National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
- Institute of Medicine: Reducing Suicide, a National Imperative
- SPRC – college white paper
Thank you for participating in National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.