- This topic is not only relevant to Live Helpers. Can we have an elaboration on the policy for dealing with this by all volunteer groups?
- This was provided by Char Linden in a notecard: "Volunteers should encourage the person in crises to call 911 or a local crisis hotline." Lexx Greatrex 14:26, 6 June 2007 (PDT)
Suicide prevention should be taken seriously by all. One of the most widely taught workshops on this in the US is the QPR course (see www.qprinstitute.com)started by Dr. Paul Quinnett. QPR stands for Question Persuade Refer. In a sense QPR is very much like CPR, and is ideal for anyone who is in contact with the public on a regular basis.
The key thoughts are that if your internal radar is going off that someone is in crisis - ASK THE QUESTION "Are you having thoughts of harming yourself." It is uncomfortable for you - but trust your inner radar. Asking that question directly is important. Many folks in genuine crisis will answer honestly. Any answer other than a variation on "Heck No" is cause for you to try to persuade the person to seek some help.
Without training - you shouldn't try to defuse the situation or solve someone else's crisis. However, non-expert simple human compassion and common sense CAN and DO save lives here. The referral part is more difficult in our avatar contact context but if you are worried, make an effort. You should try to get the person in crisis to get help. Stay cool, stay calm and like CPR, let's hope you never ever have to make use of QPR.