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QPR Gatekeepers are Conscious of those Around them and Prepared to Make A Difference
- Carolyn V. Coarsey, Ph.D.
February 2020, a new series, Consciousness at Work, will replace QPR Quick Quotes. Awareness of everyone's power to support the physical as well as emotional safety of peers, customers, and families during any crisis is increasing with the growth of Care and Special Assistance teams (care teams) throughout the world. Feedback from Foundation readers has led us to expand this semi-monthly series to include examples where increased awareness on the part of employees in all types of situations where support is needed, is making a difference.
The upcoming series will feature interviews with business and industry leaders who will share examples of their successes, as well as challenges and lessons learned in their work at leading care teams. Our intention is to raise consciousness as to the power one person has to make a difference in the lives of others.
As we transition, we are including an example where a QPR Gatekeeper became conscious of a peer whose life was at risk. She applied her training, prevented a potential death, and potentially saved the lives of others.
QPR is intended to offer hope through positive action.
-Paul Quinnett, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO, QPR Institute
Gatekeepers are good listeners. QPR training teaches participants to listen for certain words where someone sounds as if life has become hopeless and as if there are no options for relieving the psychic pain of the one who is suffering. In this case, the Gatekeeper recognized helplessness in the voice of a woman speaking over the phone. She asked a couple of questions to determine any specific problem she might be able to help with.
Quickly she placed a call to another Gatekeeper and shared the facts of the case. Briefly, a mother of two children had lost her job. She had been employed far from her homeland and was having trouble finding work. Not being native to the US, she was not aware of any programs that might support her and the family until she was once again employed. By the time her plight was discovered, she had completely exhausted her savings and was unable to buy gas for her car or food for her children.
Using all available resources, the two Gatekeepers found temporary employment for her and arranged for payment in advance for several weeks' work. Additionally, working with the woman, a plan was put in place to help her find permanent work in her professional field. Now able to pay her rent, feed her children, and put gas in her car, the woman quickly re-gained self-esteem and hope for her family's future. Within two months, she secured a job that matched her skills and training.
Later, the young mother shared with the concerned peers details about how dire her situation had become. In addition to suicidal thoughts, there were brief homicidal thoughts-- she considered taking the lives of her children and her own, as temporarily she feared that she could not provide for them, or herself. She was grateful that her friend had heard the desperation in her voice and further, that the Gatekeeper took action and provided her support at a time when she felt there were no options. Today, the once very depressed woman is a trained QPR Gatekeeper, and uses her own experience, plus the training to remain conscious of how she can help someone else, should that time arise.
At the Foundation, we see the QPR Gatekeeper model as an example of how consciousness or awareness of signs or symptoms of depression helps ensure the safety of co-workers, friends, and family members. Therefore, we will continue to include stories of the success of the Gatekeeper model in the new series.
QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer, and is a research-based intervention that anyone can learn. If you are interested in learning more about how to become a Gatekeeper and becoming part of a more extensive network that is dedicated to suicide prevention, please contact us. The Foundation works with the QPR Institute to customize this successful intervention for cruise lines, aviation companies, human resources professionals, and other workplace groups. To learn more about the training classes offered by the Family Assistance Foundation, and for information about upcoming Gatekeeper classes and how you can become a trainer within your workplace go to fafonline.org. You can also contact Cheri Johnson at email@example.com.
Upcoming Gatekeeper Trainings
QPR Gatekeeper and Train-the-Trainer Training
Other trainings will be offered when additional dates & locations for Foundation Member-Partner Meetings are announced.