Anyone can save a life
By Robert Galbreath
Shared with permission, printed Sept. 24, 2019 Sublette Examiner
Sublette County residents on hand to teach suicide prevention
PINEDALE – A person on the street clutches their chest in pain and collapses. There are no doctors around, so a bystander trained in CPR immediately jumps in and starts chest compressions until first responders arrive.
The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that they train millions of people a year how to use CPR, or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. CPR is a proven technique that nearly anyone can learn to save someone from a heart attack, one of the top killers in America,
says the AHA.
Suicide is also considered by the Centers for Disease Control to be a “leading cause of
death in the U.S.” Inspired by the success of CPR, a group of mental health providers led by Dr. Paul Quinnett in Washington developed a similar technique to respond to suicide called QPR.
QPR, short for “question, persuade and refer,” provides people with the skills to help
a person that is suicidal until professional help arrives.
QPR is not the only method to avert suicide, yet it has an “evidence-based” track
record in suicide prevention efforts endorsed by the Wyoming Department of Health, said
Trisha Scott, Sublette Prevention Coalition coordinator.
This summer, 12 people from across Sublette County volunteered their time to attend
a day-long course to become certified QPR trainers. They obtained the skills to go out and teach other community members how to use QPR.
“I know we have a problem with suicide in our community and I wanted to make a difference,” said Mardy Sleight, one of the new QPR trainers. “Suicide is something that is personally close to me, and if I can save one life, I can make a difference.”
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