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Healthy Riverton Says Suicide Prevention Is Everyone’s Business, Holds Free Training

RIVERTON, Utah – It’s an eye-opening statistic: of kids ages 10 to 17 in Utah suicide is the number one cause of death, according to the Utah Department of Health. Healthy Riverton, a citizen-led community committee, wants to change that by arming residents with tools to deal with these situations.

“Suicide is the most preventable kind of death,” Lisa Carter volunteer with Healthy Riverton said.

Carter was one of three volunteers leading a suicide prevention course Thursday night in Riverton. The group holds QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) training courses to teach people how to ask hard questions about suicide, how to persuade the person to get help, and where to refer that person.

“QPR is to suicide what CPR is to cardiac arrest,” Carter said. “If enough people in the community are trained to recognize the signs of suicide and intervene appropriately, we can reduce the number of suicide deaths in our youth.”

Carter said everyone who has contact with children and adolescents: coaches, employers, neighbors, parents, teachers, school staff, and church leaders should learn these important skills.

“We give the people the tools that they can walk out of here and feel like they can help,” Carter said.

The groups said suicidal crises are brief lasting between 10 and 15 minutes. They believe in that time, intervention is possible.

“We teach people they can persuade the person that they need to stick around for us and then refer them to get professional help,” Carter said.

In 2018, Healthy Riverton trained 1,300 people in QPR. They hope to reach out to as many people as possible in the community.

“The end goal is to reduce the number of suicides within our community,” Carter said.

For more information on QPR classes, visit the Riverton City website.

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