“Suicide in anyone is a tragedy for the individual and for his or her family, and their deaths come as a surprise to those who knew them. Suicide in athletes is more surprising because to the rest of us, these are the successful members of our society, often looked up to as heroes and role models,” Gunn and Lester, 2013.
As a sports coach, you are in one of the best possible positions to identify and support young people who may be at risk of suicidal behaviour and ultimately dying by suicide. This version of QPR has been designed specifically with sports coaches and others who work with sports people in mind, irrespective of the sport you are involved in or whether it is a school based sport or community based, amateur or professional.
This training is appropriate for team managers, skills coaches, strength and conditioning personnel, physiotherapists, sports psychologists, nutritionists and all others who are involved is supporting sports people either in team or individual sports. Whatever your relationship to an athlete, you are part of his or her social network, and it is the athlete's social network that is in the best possible position to recognize when an athlete is in emotional trouble and needs help.
This two-hour training program addresses suicide prevention in all sporting venues. The course includes how to use the QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention NREPP-listed intervention to detect and confirm suicide ideation with friends, family members, coworkers, and athletes. The course does not address suicide risk assessment, risk formulation, or clinical decision making based upon a risk stratification determination.
Additional "bonus modules" are provided as options and may be skipped with no penalty. No quiz items come from the optional modules. The course also includes links to registered best practice guidelines.
This is not a train-the-trainer course, and thus does not include instructor guidelines, lesson plans, or student handouts.
Given the time constraints many coaches and athlete support staff are under to complete new training, this self-paced course is segmented into many brief learning modules, each of which can be completed in a few minutes to just over 20 minutes. The course is open for a full year so that learners can log in and out of the course to complete modules as time is available.
If you are tasked with the assessment of suicide risk in your role as a team psychologists, please select a more robust training option which includes training in how to conduct a suicide risk assessment interview, formulate and document assessed risk, and manage risk over time.
Participants completing this program should be able to:
Understand suicide as a major public health problem
Understand the common myths and facts surrounding suicide
Understand the unique presures and situations under which athletes may develop suicide risk
Identify unique verbal, behavioral, and situational suicide warning signs
Recognize at least three suicide warning signs
Recognize at least three risk factors for suicide
Recognize at least three protective factors against suicide
Know how to engage and assist anyone who may be suicidal
Remove or limit access to the means of suicide
Be able to conduct a QPR intervention
An international team of experts worked on this course. As a result, some words are spelled as the Irish spell them and some as American spell them. To our international reviewers, we wish to observe that despite being divided by a common language (to borrow from Winston Churchill), we all got along famously putting this training together and decided to split the spelling about equally. We have, thereby, earned high marks from America's Mark Twain, who said, "I have no respect for a man who can spell a word only one way."