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Center for Tribal Studies conducts suicide prevention training


Tabby Talbot

TNE Writer

CPR training gives trainees the tools to aid someone in an emergency situation.  The Center For Tribal Studies QPR Suicide Prevention Training is similar. In this training, trainees will learn the tools necessary to respond in another type of emergency situation. This training will teach trainees how to question, persuade and refer people experiencing suicidal feelings to a professional.

Sara Barnett, Center for Tribal Studies director, said mental health issues are important to address.

“Our American Indian population suffers from high rates of suicide,” said Barnett. “We want to make sure individuals know how to support friends or family who may be struggling emotionally and get the help they need.”

Sky Wildcat, Center for Tribal Studies graduate assistant, is in charge of organizing the training. Wildcat herself suffers from depression and anxiety. Wildcat said she has found herself in situations where friends wanted to help her, but they did not know how, and she did not know what to tell them to help her.

“I decided to plan this training as I was searching for ways for students to learn suicide prevention,” said Wildcat. “While we need to learn to identify signs in ourselves, students will typically go to their peers first and oftentimes they don’t feel comfortable or helpful in knowing how to help. The QPR Institute offers training for individuals, groups, specialized professors and more online. Luckily, our instructor will be able to train students in person. By bringing this training to campus, our community can learn how to help each other.”

Beth Bowin, psychology and counseling instructor, will be the instructor for the training. Bowin said suicidal thoughts often revolve around the pain of living. She said for many individuals it is viewed as a solution to life’s problems.

“Suicide is difficult for many to talk about,” said Bowin. “There are several myths surrounding how to help or what to do if someone is contemplating suicide.  The training educates and renders an understanding of what to do if someone suspects a person to be suicidal. The training is not intended to make one an expert on suicide. However, it will give one the tools necessary to possibly save a life. Basically, (it will teach) how to question an individual correctly without fear, how to persuade a person to get help, and how to refer a suicidal person.  Talking them out of it is not the answer.”

Bowin said this training will educate people on debunking the myths and establishing proper steps to help prevent suicide.

The QPR Suicide Prevention Training will be conducted at 3 p.m., March 15 in UC Room 223. There are no fees or requirements to attend this training.

For more information about the QPR Suicide Prevention training, email Wildcat at




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