Preventing suicide

By Dale Jones
News Writer

 

All the stress from college life can really begin to wear on a person, and some people do not know how manage it. When stress is added to the equation of a busy life in college, things do not always turn out the best.

 

Sometimes when that stress becomes too great and life  seems to spin out of control, people will take it upon themselves to take their own lives.

 

Suicide is very real on college campuses across the United States. Luckily, many colleges provide help for those who find it hard to handle the stress of college life.

 

J.C. Graham, Coordinator for Suicide Prevention and Awareness at UVU is here for students. In 2006 UVU received a grant allowing them to begin a suicide prevention plan on campus. Graham was called to head up the suicide prevention plan in 2007.

 

She has a great passion for her job and that passion shows through as she visits with students, faculty and staff to train them on what they can do to help prevent suicide.

 

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students,” Graham said. “All of us get bummed out once in a while, but when its starts to get consistent and happens a lot, something needs to be done.”

 

The program she focuses on greatly as she instructs her audience is QPR, which stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer. In her training meetings she refers often to these three words and the impact they have in the early steps of preventing suicide.

 

QPR teaches peoples to first “question…a person about suicide”, then “persuade…the person to get help and, refer…the person to the appropriate resources.

 

These three steps are not intended to be the final steps to preventing suicide, but are there to open the doors of helping a stranger, friend or even a loved one. Anyone can learn what QPR is and how to use it.

 

Last fall a student wanted to jump from one of the upper floors of the CS building. One of the first people to contact and speak with the student used QPR they learned in training with Graham.

 

Graham trains with a desire to help others. As she talks with her audience about QPR, she provides examples for them to see and learn some of the basic steps to noticing the signs of depression and what steps a person can take to help those in need.

 

“No suicide attempt is just to get attention,” Graham said. “ If you hear someone make a statement about killing themselves, take it seriously and refer them to someone that can help them.”

 

Graham’s office is located at Student Health Services on the second floor in SC 221. If people need help in their own lives or need advice in helping a friend, they can come visit with her.

 

Student Health Services provides 10 therapists, both full and part time, for people to come and talk with that are dealing with the stresses of life. The first visit is free and any subsequent visits are $10. They can be reach by calling 801-863-8397 or 801-863-8876.

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