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By Karla Pomeroy

Consider QPR training to save a life


April 15, 2021

We have all had that friend who we think might be a little depressed due to stressors in their life.

According to SSM Health, intimate partner problems, legal issues, unemployment/financial problems and health concerns are among the most common precipitating circumstances for suicides in middle-aged men. But, during the COVID era that we entered into in 2020, these stresses can be the same for many of us.   

We never know what someone is going through or how they will react to the things in their life. How one person reacts to something is going to be different than how you or I would react. We are a sum of our experiences in our lifetime and all of those experiences leads us to react to things in our life in different ways.

People in our lives may say or do things that make you wonder if they are considering harming themselves or taking their own life.

You ask yourself — What can I do? What should I say? Who should I call? Am I overreacting? Will they be mad if I ask? Will they be mad if I call someone?

These are all legitimate questions and the good news is there is a simple, yet effective program, that can help you answer those questions and help you be better prepared for if and when that situation arises.

The program is through Washakie County Prevention with Prevention Specialist Lila Jolley.

I’m not here to give you a synopsis of the training. I’m not trained to do that nor would I do it justice in this space.

However, I would like to provide a few nuggets of information from the presentation. The first is that contemplating suicide is not the problem, but rather a symptom of the problem and those problems can be any one of the above listed stresses or many others that were not listed.

Lila provides an hour-long QPR (Question. Persuade. Refer.) training. The program is not meant to be an intervention, it is not meant to teach you to be a counselor. It is meant to provide tools to anyone and everyone to help someone in need.

I had the opportunity to go through the hour-long training as part of the Youth Alternatives Advisory Group last Friday.

Lila Jolley is engaging and passionate about her work and makes it easy to ask questions as you go along.

The program addresses myths about suicide, signs to look for, how to ask that question of your friend, family member or even a stranger whom you feel might be thinking of hurting themselves.

Suicide is one of the most preventable forms of death in our society if we only take the time to listen, look and feel compassion for our fellow man.

I am here to encourage your family, your organization or your business to consider contacting Lila Jolley at [email protected] or 307-272-5294 and have her come and provide the QPR training.

It’s only an hour and I know I feel more empowered to help than I did a few short days ago.

Lila also provides a handy QPR booklet for easy reference so you can refresh yourself on what you learned anytime.

The more we know, the more we can help.

The training is just one resource and part of that training is the R – Refer. There are several resources available in the community including Cloud Peak Counseling (347-6165), who provides two afternoons of free walk-in clinics from 1-4 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, clergy in the community are willing to help, Safe2Tell anonymous website ( or app; and of course, the Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat online at

--Karla Pomeroy


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