For the past 20 years, suicide rates have continually risen, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s also the second-leading cause of death for people 15-24 years old. Southeast Community College is offering free suicide prevention training for anyone interested.

“Mental health disorders are quite treatable, and suicide is a symptom of some mental health disorders,” said Kalika Jantzen, Director of Counseling Assistance Program for Students (CAPS) at SCC and one of the instructors for the QPR training.

The QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Gatekeeper Training for Suicide prevention program teaches people about the warning signs and how to persuade people to get professional help. The training will be offered twice: Tuesday, July 16, from 9-11 a.m. and Tuesday, Aug. 13, from 1-3 p.m. Both classes are at SCC’s Jack J. Huck Continuing Education Center at 301 S. 68th St. Place, Lincoln. Training is free, but participants must register at http://bit.ly/qprtrainingscc.

“QPR teaches a practical understanding and tools for how to assist a person in need of support when experiencing suicide thoughts,” Jantzen said. “This often leads participants to increased confidence that they can aid in their community efforts to help people if they are thinking about suicide.”

The QPR mission is to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, practical and proven training. As a QPR-trained Gatekeeper, attendees will learn to recognize the signs of suicide, know how to offer hope, and know how to get help and save a life.

“I hope people can take away an increased awareness of suicide thoughts and a desire to help anybody displaying these signs,” Jantzen added.

This training was paid for by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).