Middle and High School Staff and Students' Perceptions of QPR Training
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Suicide in youth continues to be on the rise, becoming the second leading cause of death for children and young adults (“Vital Signs,” 2018; Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). In order to best address this significant concern, it has become crucial to find effective and impactful suicide prevention methods, especially within a school given that it is a place that youth spend a significant proportion of their time. Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) is a gatekeeper suicide prevention program that has often been used in communities and is beginning to be used in schools for students and staff. The current study looked at the social validity of QPR within schools by analyzing post-evaluation surveys completed by middle and high school students and staff after attending the training. Descriptive analyses found that all areas related to perceived knowledge about suicide risk detection and prevention increased for both students and staff. This included perceived ability to ask a person about suicidal ideation, knowledge of warning signs and resources, and staffs’ self efficacy to prevent suicide in their community. Students and staff were also found to have overall positive satisfaction with the QPR training. Satisfaction with the training was not related to perceived ability to ask a person about suicidal ideation for staff and was only marginally related for students. Overall, QPR was found to have positive social validity for middle and high school students and staff, which is important given that perceived acceptability of a training can impact the effectiveness of a suicide prevention program. Implications of these findings, limitations of the research, and directions for future research are discussed.
Youth--Suicidal behavior--United States
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)