World Suicide Prevention Day and QPR Training
September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day, an opportunity to remember those affected by suicide, create awareness, remove stigma, and to focus efforts on directing treatment to those who need it most.
Mental health and suicide prevention are more than just topics to focus on for one day or one month a year. Findings from a national survey involving over 2,000 U.S. adults (conducted by The Harris Poll) released Sept. 1 found the overwhelming majority (81%) believe, as a result of COVID-19, suicide prevention needs to be a national priority.
As the Olympic National Governing Body of skiing and snowboarding in the United States, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s mission is to empower athletes to achieve excellence, including providing the resources and tools necessary to ensure mental well being. Through a partnership with The Speedy Foundation, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will provide mandatory QPR Institute training for all staff. QPR Training will also be free and highly encouraged for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes, members, and board members.
QPR Training is based on three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide: Question, Persuade, and Refer. The QPR Institute’s mission is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. Those trained in QPR learn how to recognize suicide warning signs and are better equipped to question, persuade and refer someone in potential danger to help. QPR can be learned in as little as one hour.
To register for complimentary (normally $29.95), online & on-demand QPR training via The Speedy Foundation, follow the steps below:
1. Click here: qprtraining.com/setup
2. Enter this code: SPEEDYFOUND
3. Select Create Account
4. Complete and submit your registration form
5. QPR will display (and email you) the newly created Username and Password
6. You can then log-in to begin training at qprtraining.com
7. Learn to save a life.
Mandatory staff QPR training is an important step in U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s recently revamped internal mental health committee’s plan and oversight of the organization’s mental health resources. This internal committee is led by USOPC Sr. Sport Psychologist Alexander Cohen and U.S. Ski & Snowboard Sports Medicine Director and Lead Physical Therapist Gillian Bower, with participation from key staff members and coach and athlete representation. U.S. Ski & Snowboard has also made an annual commitment to complete the NCAA Mental Health Best Practices Self Assessment. Results and recommendations are reported directly to the mental health committee for review and implementation.
More detail on the newly structured committee will be posted on the organization’s mental health and wellness section of usskiandsnowboard.org prior to the start of the 2020-21 competition season.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an urgent mental health issue, we encourage you to text HOME to 741741, or call (800) 273-8255 to speak to a mental health professional. In the process of helping yourself, you may be inspiring courage in others to seek help as well.
If you are a U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete, member, or staff, and feel you need support or would like to talk, don’t hesitate to reach out to USOPC Sr. Sport Psychologist Alexander Cohen as a resource.
Alexander Cohen, Ph.D., CMPC
Sr. Sport Psychologist
United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
(O) +1 719-866-3180 (M) +1 719-216-6376
Mental Health Resources
The Speedy Foundation
Michael Phelps Foundation
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Crisis Text Line
Mental Health First Aid