Spiritual leaders are key gatekeepers in prevention of suicide in their communities. Learn what you need to know to assist and protect co-workers, friends, family, and those in your faith community. Suicide is a preventable cause of death, and you may be the only person in the life of someone you know who can make a difference and restore hope.
This training program is designed to address our shared mission to help each other and the suicidal people we may meet on our journey through life. Some may be members of our faith community, or friends, or even family members and colleagues. In your role as a faith leader, you may have already experienced a completed suicide, or a non-fatal suicide attempt in someone you know or someone in your community.
Note: This not a train-the-trainer program. It is offered only online.
International learners please note: Suicide rates for QPR online 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/. Or, quicker still, simply Google your country’s name, and the words “rate” and “suicide” and you should arrive at a set of figures that will describe the scope of the problem in your country.
If your country has QPR offices, e.g., Australia, Ireland, or New Zealand, country suicide statistics are available from their web sites, as is support and additional training. Again, a Google search is often your shortest route.
Please remember that suicide rates need 5 to 10 year horizons to be of much value as to interpreting any changes in trend lines. But as we say, one suicide death is too many.
As background to this effort, the QPR Institute worked with noted spiritual leaders to build a training program designed to meet the specific needs of those working in communities of faith and those planning a career as a faith leader.
Here's what we know and why we offer this training:
Faith leaders have been identified as "key gatekeepers" for suicide prevention and have frequent contact with persons at elevated risk for suicide.
Faith leaders often engage with those who have attempted suicide, or the friends and family members of those who have died by suicide.
Faith leaders are not immune to stress, depression, and other problems which may trigger suicidal thoughts. This training program is designed to address suicide risk among faith leaders, their staff, their families, and their students.
While perceived comfort and competence in conducting suicide interventions or dealing with suicide events varies considerably, many clergy have not had specific and evidence-based suicide prevention training that would be beneficial to their work.
Completing and passing the quizzes in this training program qualifies the learner to print the QPR for Clergy Certificate in Suicide Prevention.
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 evidence-based suicide prevention and intervention training programs for a variety of professionals and for undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students preparing for careers in a broad range of helping professions.
Reduce morbidity and mortality of suicidal patients or inmates served by healthcare or correctional institutions through a systems approach to suicide risk reduction that enhances clinical competencies to assess, monitor, manage and treat patients and inmates known to be at elevated risk for suicidal behaviors.
As of January 1, 2017 more than 2.5 million people have been trained in QPR or one of our advanced courses.
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, marching under the banner of their faith. Our mission is at once moral, urgent, and greatly needed. Around the world, suicide rates are rising. All hands and hearts are needed now. Saving a single life is worth all of our collective effort.
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. Through this training, faith leaders become a part of the solution.
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 believe everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide and that clergymen and women carry a great deal of this burden to protect and serve suicidal people.
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 interaction in role-plays we recommend and which are included in the free training support package. Some clergy will have had advanced training in counseling and psychotherapy, but many will not.
This course also does not teach the formal suicide risk assessment or risk management skills, but other of our courses do, e.g., the QPRT Suicide Risk Assessment and Risk Management training program. However, this course does teach the same foundational knowledge about causes of suicidal behavior and the relationship of mental illness and substance abuse to suicide.
What this training program is
This training program teaches faith leaders how to detect, intervene, and initially assist suicidal people get through a personal crisis. Only evidence-based tools are taught. The course also teaches essential skills in aiding those bereaved by suicide.
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 e-learning technologies, this training program includes specific knowledge and skills researchers have identified as safe and effective in helping suicidal people and their loved ones.
QPR for Clergy training requires 6+ hours, with final exam. If the learner passes this national exam, he or she will have demonstrated more knowledge about suicide and its prevention than a large majority of licensed mental health professionals.
At the end of training participants should be able to:
Understand the common myths and facts surrounding suicide
Recognize someone at risk of suicide
Demonstrate increased knowledge about suicide and its causes
Identify unique verbal, behavioral, and situational suicide warning signs
Know how to inquire about suicidal intent and desire
Know how to engage and assist a suicidal colleague or co-worker
Apply QPR with potentially suicidal citizens
Demonstrate QPR intervention skills
Understand suicide as a major public health problem.
Describe the US National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
Describe and locate major suicide prevention web sites and online resources
Describe the scope of the problem of suicide in his or her state or province
Identify at least three suicide warning signs
Identify at least three risk factors for suicide
Identify at least three protective factors against suicide
Understand means restriction and how to immediately reduce risk
Understand the nature of suicide and describe at least one theory of suicidal behavior
Describe basic helping skills following suicide attempts or completions
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
NOTE: this exam covers US statistics only; clergy from other countries are obliged to learn similar figures from public health web sites in their own countries.
Individual certificate pricing:
Certificate of Course Completion (6 hours)
2 - 10
10 or more
Large employers (500 or more) please call for discount and information on an unlimited use site license.
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.