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Buffalo State Hosts Suicide-Prevention Training

Buffalo State Hosts Suicide-Prevention Training

“Be an upstander,” says Counseling Center director Joan McCool

Posted: July 16, 2014

The Counseling Center at Buffalo State is presenting a suicide prevention train-the-trainer session on July 16. The training will feature David Denino, LPC, NCC, who is a QPR master trainer from the QPR Institute in Spokane, Washington.

QPR—which stands for question, persuade, and refer—gives lay people concrete steps to follow when they are concerned that someone they encounter may be considering self-harm. “I’m committed to QPR because it’s an evidence-based model that works very well in providing people with helpful tools,” said Joan McCool, director of the Counseling Center at Buffalo State. “It’s important that people know what to say, and equally important that they know how to refer the person to a professional. And the good news is that help is always available, 24 hours a day.”

McCool, director of the Counseling Center, received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement Buffalo State Cares, a suicide prevention program at Buffalo State that uses the QPR method. The grant also provides for training community members.

“I presented results from our initiative in May for the State University of New York Personal Safety Committee, and some SUNY directors expressed an interest in receiving the training,” said McCool. “So we invited David Denino, who was instrumental in bringing the QPR model to the state university system in Connecticut.” Denino is director emeritus of Counseling Services at Southern Connecticut State University.

Representatives from local colleges including D’Youville College and Daemen College will join SUNY representatives from across the state as well as from Buffalo State’s faculty and professional staff. Staff members from Crisis Services, PreventionFocus and the Erie County Coalition for Suicide Prevention  and the Buffalo Public Schools are also attending the training. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which is staffed 24/7.

McCool is also organizing a Buffalo State team to take part in the annual “Out of the Darkness” community walk in Buffalo on September 13. “We call it the UPstander team,” said McCool. “Participants aren’t bystanders when other people are in distress—they are upstanders, who reach out to help others.”

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