Free suicide awareness/prevention training offered

Published 1:38 am Sunday, December 5, 2021

The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) recently received funding from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s (FAO) Cause Connector giving program. Cause Connector is a charitable matchmaking site, created to help more donors support local nonprofit projects in Appalachian Ohio.

The AAA7 is utilizing the funding to support an important community training for suicide awareness and prevention called QPR: Question, Persuade, and Refer.

Through the Suicide Prevention Foundation, AAA7 staff have been trained to provide the community educational program QPR: Question, Persuade, and Refer.

Much like the well-known CPR, the fundamentals of QPR are easily learned and applied through a short training which can be done virtually or online. QPR, like CPR, functions as a “chain of survival,” allowing lay persons and professionals to respond to a life-threatening event; suicidal crisis. The training provides a booklet for each participant which becomes the resource to assist suicidal persons and is an instrumental part of the training. Teachers, coaches, local clergy, police officers and any community individual can learn the QPR method to help recognize signs and clues of suicidal behavior, how to approach and communicate with a suicidal person and where to refer them for assistance.

In Ohio, five people die each day by suicide. A report released by the Ohio University College of Health and Sciences in July 2020 found rural counties have higher incidences of suicide and less resources to treat mental health conditions in Ohio. Of Ohio’s 88 counties, 37 have above the United States average deaths from suicide. Adams, Gallia and Jackson Counties have 20 suicides per 100,000 individuals annually; Brown County has 18 per 100,000; Highland, Pike and Ross Counties have 17 per 100,000; Scioto and Lawrence Counties have 13 per 100,000; and Vinton County has 11 per 100,000.

The Area Agency on Aging District 7 serves all 10 of these counties with a mission of providing resources and services for the area.

Upcoming virtual training dates have been set and the training is open to anyone in the community who is interested. Dates include: Dec. 14, 2021 and Jan. 11, 2022 with additional dates planned in February and March. The training will last a couple hours and attendees will receive materials ahead of time to use in the training.

If you or someone you know would be interested in participating, or if you have questions about the training, please call the AAA7 Training Department at 1-800-582-7277, extension 252 or e-mail info@aaa7.org. To register for the training, log on to www.aaa7.org, go to the “Training” tab and click on “Training Registration.”

Your local Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. provides services on a non-discriminatory basis in 10 counties in Southern Ohio, including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton. These services are available to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes through services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, other federal and state resources, as well as private pay.

The AAA7’s Resource Center is also available to anyone in the community looking for information or assistance with long-term care options. Available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., the Resource Center is a valuable contact for learning more about options and what programs and services are available for assistance.

Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711). Here, individuals can speak directly with a specially-trained agency staff member who will assist them with information surrounding the programs and services that are available to best serve their needs.

The agency also offers an assessment at no cost for those who are interested in learning more. Information is also available on www.aaa7.org, or the Agency can be contacted through e-mail at info@aaa7.org.

The agency also has a Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAgingDistrict7.

Jenni Lewis is director of community outreach and training at Area Agency on Aging District 7