September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and in recognition of this, Family & Children’s Center is providing free Question, Persuade, Refer and Mental Health First Aid training to the community.

The question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) is an evidence-based model proven to reduce the likelihood of suicide when a Gatekeeper utilizes the methods of Question, Persuade and Refer.

QPR Gatekeeper training is specifically designed and developed to raise public awareness about suicide and better identification and referral of people at risk for suicide. Gatekeepers are those citizens in every community who, because of their contact with those at risk of suicide, are often in the best position to identify and refer people thinking about suicide. QPR is designed and developed to: raise awareness and dispel myths and misconceptions about suicide; and teach 3 skills (Question, Persuade and Refer) that can help save a life. QPR is a 1-hour training in a virtual format.

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. This training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. Mental Health First Aid requires three hours of online pre-work following by a full-day (7-hour) virtual training.

Both training options are FREE thanks to a Suicide Prevention grant from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Training dates include:

  • Thursday, Sept. 9, at 4 p.m. — Question, Persuade Refer (1 hour)
  • Friday, Sept. 10, at noon — Question, Persuade Refer (1 hour)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 8 a.m. — Question, Persuade Refer (1 hour)
  • Thursday, Sept. 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Mental Health First Aid (3 hours pre-work plus 7 hours virtual training)

We hope you can join us to learn how to better support our friends and neighbors that may be struggling with their mental health, especially during the ongoing pandemic. If your group or organization is interested in setting up a separate training, please reach out. To register for any of the trainings above or to set up a separate training, please, contact Vanessa Southworth, director of Minnesota programs, at or 507-615-3115.

Family & Children’s Center is a nonprofit human services organization whose mission is to serve children, families and individuals with a continuum of services designed to strengthen families and promote individual well-being.