Training Employees to Help in Crisis Situations


QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer. This is a suicide prevention training that is taught to individuals, teams, and organizations across the world. This training is applicable for the support of family and friends of all ages.

Avoiding the topic of suicide when someone is in crisis can have harmful consequences. Not only do you miss the chance to connect that person to support, but avoiding the conversation can potentially signal that what they are feeling is shameful or not safe to discuss.

There are many reasons why talking about suicidality may feel uncomfortable. Although discomfort is understandable, it is possible to have an effective conversation with the help of trainings like QPR.

Discomfort with these conversations may come from the fear of saying the wrong thing. A person may be aware of the questions to ask, but can feel awkward actually asking the questions in real time. QPR provides practice of what to say so that if you are ever in the position to support someone who is in crisis, you are not saying these words for the first time.

Misinformation can mislead the discussion. It’s a common fear that asking about suicidality may “give the person the idea”. QPR explains why this is just not true.

A person may believe that by supporting someone in crisis, they are responsible for their well-being and must have the knowledge of a therapist, psychiatrist, physician etc. QPR teaches how to connect the person to professionals who can then provide appropriate support.

It’s understandable to have discomfort if you have not had training on this subject. This is why we are bringing suicide prevention training based on the steps of QPR to the Work/Life Center and via WebEx for remote employees. If you are a SAS employee or family member, we hope that you will please register using this link. If you are on campus and have the ability to attend in-person, please do.

If you are interested in completing the one hour QPR Online Gatekeeper Training, you can access it on this site, for a fee of $29.95.

A reminder of the 24 hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Information from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on How We Can All Prevent Suicide

It’s important for us to support our employees and their families with this training, but it’s also an issue that SAS recognized could be analyzed with data to help others in the community. Our SAS Canada team was able to use SAS software to analyze data to identify risk of suicide among Canadian youth. Learn more here to see how SAS uses analytics to transform a world of data to help others.


About Author

Katie Seavey Pegoraro

Sr Associate Work Life Program Manager

Katie Seavey Pegoraro supports employees with issues of stress and balance, providing tools and resources to cope when life feels overwhelming. Katie is a contact for those who may be coping with issues of mental health, substance use, or grief and loss. A young professional herself, Katie is a unique support to employees who are navigating the many life transitions that occur in your 20's and 30's.

Leave A Reply

Back to Top