The community is invited to our “QPR: Ask a question, save a life” suicide prevention forum on Aug. 7 at First Presbyterian Church, 1901 Vine Street, Hudson, at 6:30 p.m.
At least a dozen suicides have occurred in the Hudson area in recent years, including three Hudson area teens in the past year. Through this public forum, the Hudson Community Foundation hopes to raise awareness about suicide, train interested person on prevention skills, and prevent more deaths.
The featured speaker will be Melissa Costello, who lost her daughter Jordan to suicide in September 2012. She has chosen to honor her daughter’s memory by speaking openly and candidly about Jordan’s death in hopes of saving lives and sparing other families the grief hers lives with daily.
Costello said the loss of her daughter is something she deals with every day and that will never change. But what she hopes will change is the circle of silence that surrounds suicide. “Suicide isn’t about shame or blame,” she said. “We need to be honest about it and love our kids enough to talk to them about it.”
In addition, local military veteran Willy Graves will discuss the increasing number of veterans who are dying of suicide each day and talk about ways to reach out to veterans who might need support. According to a report released in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans committed suicide in the U.S. every day in 2010, with nearly 70 percent of all veteran suicides were among men and women aged 50 or older.
The Suicide Prevention Task Force of St. Croix County will conduct the three-step prevention training called QPR. The acronym QPR stands for “Question, Persuade and Refer” and was developed by Paul Quinnett, Ph.D., who designed the training to be an easy, memorable way for people to help someone who might be considering suicide. QPR is a nationally recognized, evidenced-based program, proven to reduce suicides in communities across the United States. It involves three steps:
- Ask the person if he or she is thinking about suicide.
- Persuade the person to get help.
- Refer the person to an appropriate resource.
Everyone who completes the training at the forum will be given a QPR guide and information about suicide prevention and resources. Similar trainings are being conducted throughout the county.
For more information on the forum contact HCF board member Meg Heaton at (715) 426-1067. For more information about the task force contact Patty Schachtner at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kesha Marson at Kesha.Marson@co.saint-croix.wi.us.