Suicide: There is Hope

​by Monique Moreno Aquino, Community Relations Specialist, Mecklenburg

In our culture, there are taboos against talking about suicide, just as there were once taboos when talking about incest, child abuse, and human sexual behavior. The study of suicide prevention in the United States started in the 1950s, and has continued to debunk myths that were deeply embedded in our society. One of the most prominent myths was that we should not speak about suicide because we may "plant" the idea in someone's brain. Studies have clearly indicated the opposite and support the idea that speaking about suicide can save lives.

Dr. Paul Quinnett developed the evidence-based model of QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) for the prevention of suicide. QPR has life-saving functions similar to CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and the Heimlich maneuver. QPR reviews national statistics about how suicide impacts our lives. The curriculum teaches methods on how to detect when someone is thinking about suicide and how to intervene by the use of questions, persuasion, and referral.

Every 13 minutes, another American dies by suicide. Each day, 86 Americans take their lives and another 1,500 attempt suicide, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

Suicide does not discriminate and affects people of all backgrounds, ages, socioeconomic statuses, races, and abilities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you need to speak to someone immediately about suicide, there are several resources available that are just a phone call away. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the National Hopeline at 1-800-784-2433, the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (Press One or text 838255), Teen Line at 310-855-4673(Text TEEN to 839863) and The Trevor Project for LGBTB (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) youth ages 13-24 at 1-866-488-7386. You can also call the Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutio​ns Access line at 1-800-939-5911. More local resources are available and distributed at your local QPR trainings.

QPR is only one of several educational trainings that Community Partners is actively introducing and presenting to our communities. With QPR education and training, you can help save lives. If you are interested in attending this training, email me at and I will connect you immediately to your nearest QPR Trainer. Come on, let's help save lives!