This two-certificate training program targets patient safety, teaches a suicide screening tool, a best practice rapid assessment protocol, and updates emerging practice standards.
The course addresses suicide among physicians and includes a 45-minute lecture on how to prevent veteran suicide.
Level I QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention is included in the modules and is the most researched, tested, and evaluated universal suicide intervention program available today. Taught to almost 2 million people by 15,000 instructors since 1998, the intervention has been adapted for a variety of settings, e.g., law enforcement, medical, schools, and others. QPR training is supported by dozens of published studies, which include four large random clinical trials - the gold standard for evidence of effectiveness. Please see the official listing and description at: http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=299
Note: this is not a train-the-trainer program. The institute offers a train-the-trainer program for the Level II QPR Suicide Triage training course embedded in this course, and for the Level III QPRT Suicide Risk Management Training program. A trainer qualified to teach the Level III course can also teach the Level II course. There is currently no T-4-T for this course.
The QPR for Physicians, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners is intended to prevent suicide not just among patients, but among colleagues, co-workers, and family members. The minimum QPR certificate requires approximately 2+ hours of training. A certificate for the full course requires 6 hours of training and passing a national clinical and content exam.
Suicide rates for QPR courses are US-specific. To determine suicide rates in your country, please visit the World Health Organization at http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide_rates/en/ .
As you will see, many of these reports are quite dated. If your country keeps such data but does not necessarily report to WHO, try Googling federal, state, or province name and "suicide rate." If you are teaching suicide prevention courses you will need this data; the more local the data the better. But remember that suicide rates need 5 to 10 year horizons to be of much value as to interpreting any changes in trend lines.
The Training Program
As background to this building this course, the QPR Institute worked with a number of organizations to tailor this training to the needs of learners. The course has been beta tested and peer reviewed with primary care medical providers, e.g., family medicine residents and their faculty. The core QPR training is now listed in the National Registry of Evidence-based Practices and Policies.
What we do know to justify this training:
Primary care providers have a high degree of line-of-duty exposure to suicidal behaviors, both in the pre-attempt phase (when suicidal persons are communicating intent and desire to attempt suicide via suicide warning signs), and after a suicide attempt or completion.
Suicide is a too common cause of death among medical professionals.
As health care professionals, PCPs also have higher-than-expected exposures to secondary trauma resulting from suicidal behaviors, particularly in the ED.
While perceived comfort and competence in conducting suicide interventions or dealing with suicide events varies considerably, and according to the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention 2012 and 2001, many PCPs have not had specific suicide prevention training that would be beneficial to the health and safety of fellow employees or suicidal patients.
For some learners, only the first few modules (approximately three hours) of this online course may be required by the learner's employer or college instructor. The only certificate earned in this shorter version of the course is the QPR Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention Certificate.
To earn the full course certificate, more work is required. The learner must complete up to 6 hours of online training in this same course. Completing and passing the quizzes in these additional modules qualify the learner to print the QPR for Primary Care Provider Certificate in Suicide Prevention Certificate.
The price for the shorter or longer course is the same, and we encourage all learners to complete the full course if possible. The final exam is a national 25-item test that few health care or mental health professionals can pass without completing this course or one like it.
The QPR Institute trains and licenses Certified QPR Instructors for those interested in teaching QPR face-to-face.
Finally, the four primary goals of the QPR Institute are these:
Raise public awareness about suicide and its prevention.
Provide low-cost, high-tech, effective, basic gatekeeper and intervention skills training to lay persons who may be able to prevent a suicide.
Provide suicide prevention and intervention training programs for a variety of professionals and for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students preparing for careers in the helping professions.
Reduce morbidity and mortality of suicidal patients, students, and employees through a systems approach to suicide risk reduction that enhances detection of suicidal behaviors and those clinical competencies necessary to assess, manage, monitor, and treat patients known to be at elevated risk for suicidal behaviors.
As of this writing in 2013, the Institute has trained more than 10,000 Certified Gatekeeper Instructors who have, in turn, trained more than one million gatekeepers worldwide. In addition, thousands of clinical health care providers have been trained in how to detect, assess, and manage suicidal consumers.
If this sounds like an "army" of people helping to prevent suicide, it is. Now, with your help, we will create a new division in that army of educated, trained primary care professionals to help prevent suicide around the globe.
Program Background and Purpose
While expert opinion may differ as to what helper competencies are required to assist suicidal persons achieve the most beneficial outcomes, little controversy exists about the lack of qualified manpower to help the thousands of people who think about, attempt and sometimes die by suicide.
Even among licensed professionals there is a serious lack of systematic training in how to a) detect suicide risk, b) assess immediate risk for suicidal behaviors and c) provide helpful crisis mitigation services to suicidal persons.
The primary mission of the QPR Institute has been to provide technology transfer of evidence-based knowledge into useful skills and helpful interventions for those wishing to assist suicidal persons. To this end, the Institute has developed comprehensive training programs to address the training deficits among clinical providers as outlined in the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention 2012, and to provide customized suicide prevention training to match the service setting and the levels of duty professionals in those settings have for the health safety of those they serve.
The history and source of these training programs is derived from earlier research and development work in partnership with Washington State University, The Washington Institute for Mental Health Research, the Washington State Youth Suicide Prevention Program, Spokane Mental Health, and Spokane County Regional Health District.
We know that PCPs are in frequent contact with at-risk populations and need to know as much about suicidal behaviors and how to intervene to reduce risk and enhance safety as do trained mental health professionals. To this end, the online program you are about to take is intended to train you in the knowledge and skills you will need to provide competent services in suicide risk detection, initial assessment, and how to immediately mitigate the risk of a suicide attempt.
As you will learn in this course, exposure to suicidal patients "goes with the territory" of those in primary care settings.
What this training program is not
This training is not a substitute for a college degree in counseling or other helping profession, nor can it provide the face-to-face supervised experience those in the helping professions are provided in the course of their professional career development. The program does not teach suicide risk assessment skills. Suicide risk assessment training is provided in other QPR Institute programs.
Participants must be at least 18 years of age
If employed by, or volunteering for, an organization, participants agree to accept all expectations and employment rules of their parent organization. The QPR Institute does not vet or otherwise qualify students for this course.
The Training Program
Modularized in a rich mix of text, video, voice-over PowerPoint™ lectures, interactive practice sessions, and other state-of-the-art interactive and e-learning technologies, the QPR for PCPs training program provides two certificates.
The basic QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention requires 2+ hours of training.
The QPR for Primary Care Providers in Suicide Prevention requires 6 hours of training and passing a final national exam. If the learner passes this exam, he or she will have demonstrated more knowledge about suicide and its prevention than a large majority of mental health professionals.
From minimum gatekeeper training, participants should be able to:
Explain suicide as a major public health problem
Explain the common myths and facts surrounding suicide
Identify unique verbal, behavioral, and situational suicide warning signs
Recognize and screen someone at risk of suicide, with a focus on Emergency Department patients
Explain how to inquire about suicidal intent and desire
Explain to inquire about capacity for suicide and self injurious behavior
Recognize at least three suicide warning signs
Recognize at least three risk factors for suicide
Recognize at least three protective factors against suicide
Demonstrate increased knowledge, skills,self-efficacy and intent to act to intervene with suicidal people and patients
Explain how to engage and assist a suicidal colleague or co-worker
Explain the difference between "known at risk" patients and "unknown at risk" patients
Explain to conduct a brief triage assessment of acute suicide risk
Describe "means restriction" and identify individual characteristics and hospital environmental features that may increase or decrease the risk for suicide
Address immediate patient safety needs and determine most appropriate setting for care
Explain materials, phone numbers, and patient/family information to provide at discharge or point of care site
Describe with "hand off" procedures for patients at risk for suicide
From the 6-hour certificate program, participants should be able to:
Describe the US National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
Explain the nature of suicide and describe at least one theory of suicidal behavior
Describe and locate major suicide prevention web sites and online resources
Demonstrate increased knowledge about suicide and its causes
Engage in an interactive and helpful conversation with someone who has attempted suicide
Engage in an interactive and helpful conversation with the loved ones or family members of someone who has died by suicide
Describe clinical groups at high risk for suicide
Describe how and why "suicide proofing" an inpatient room and ward may prevent adverse events.
Describe the relationship of mental illness and substance abuse to suicide and understand the fundamentals of our current knowledge about suicide and its prevention
Pass a nationally standardized exam demonstrating fundamental knowledge about suicide, its causes, and the current status of suicide prevention in America
By completing all 6 hours of training learners may earn the "QPR for Primary Care Providers Certificate in Suicide Prevention." The fee is the same for the shorter and the longer course. Two certificates are available.
Individual certificate pricing:
Certificate of Course Completion (6 hours)
Our courses should qualify for continuing education for most professions.
Counselors: The QPR Institute is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is
responsible for all aspects of the program.
Nurses: Varies with state or organizational membership.
Note: Since many professions have their own continuing education credentialing and certification processes, please submit the course description and required hours to complete to your own accrediting body for approval. Or, we are happy to provide reviewer access to any of these courses to make their own determinations.
Reviewer Access and for questions about CEs: Please contact Brian Quinnett, National Training Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for complimentary review access.