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Suicide prevention training

September marks National Suicide Prevention Month, with specific emphasis on the week of September 5-12 built around Suicide Prevention Day, Sept. 10. Read about Family Education & Support Services’ suicide prevention training and the tools you can learn to help save a life.

Since 2020, Family Education & Support Services has offered suicide prevention to training help stem the flow of suicides, especially among children and youth.

“It’s definitely a public health crisis,” said Scott Hanauer, Family Education & Support Services Clinical Director. He has been working with Thurston Youth Alive locally to focus on the issue.

They train on QPR, which stand for “question, persuade, refer” – strategies that can stop suicides before they happen.

Scott and Keoki Kauanoe, Fatherhood Director at Family Education & Support Services have given the free training to about 500 to 600 people since they started. Many people have contacted Scott about giving the training to their organizations or companies, with the hope of expanding to many more, Scott said.

While COVID has been one driver for an increase in suicides or suicide attempts (current exact numbers are hard to come by right now, Scott said), many other societal issues may affect people negatively.

“We see increased stress on families in general,” Scott said. “People just feel overwhelmed and stressed and have a feeling of helplessness.”

A common belief is that depression is a key motivator that leads to suicides. Actually, “anxiety is worse than depression,” he said.

Young people in particular are vulnerable. If their parents are anxious and stressed, they often do not want to burden them with their own anxieties. “They feel like they’ve got nobody to talk to, nobody who can really help them.”

Kids who identify as LGBTQ+ and children of color often are more likely to feel stress than their peers.

The QPR training is helpful in identifying the warning signs and risk factors, Scott said.

You can sign up for training through on Familyess.org/qpr by calling 360-754-7629

Scott also created a Parental Compass podcast on suicide. Click here to listen.