Twenty-seven brothers and sisters from Pi Lambda Phi and Theta Phi Alpha came together March 2 to be trained in Question, Persuade, and Refer Gatekeeper Training (QPR), a program designed to give people the skills to recognize and respond to someone struggling with suicidal thoughts.
The fraternity and sorority were recruited for the training by Kathleen Valerio, Health Educator and Program Coordinator. QPR is supported by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Student Health Services (SHS) Health Education Office from the Division of Student Affairs.
“We’re trying to get people aware of how to help others struggling with their mental health and thinking about suicide. It’s a scary issue and people may not know how to handle it, but we’re here to learn how we can help instead of being scared,” Jonathan Palmieri ‘20, president of Pi Lambda Phi, said.
The program trains people to act as “gatekeepers.” A gatekeeper is someone who is in a position to recognize the warning signs associated with suicidal tendencies. QPR equips gatekeepers-in-training with the tools to question a person about suicide, persuade that person to get help, and refer them to the appropriate resource.
“We’re excited to learn about preventing suicide. The thing that people don’t realize is how many resources are available on campus,” Nicole Sgouros ‘19, president of Theta Phi Alpha, said.
QPR training is available throughout the semester. Students can register for one of the sessions online.
“We’re actually the first chapter to be QPR trained on campus,” Melissa Leo ’18, a Theta Phi Alpha sister, said. “I’ve already done the training twice – it’s important.”