The WeMatter Suicide Prevention Movement visited MTSU Thursday to educate students on ways to recognize the warning signs of suicide within their social circles.
WeMatter is partnered with the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network and works to spread suicide awareness across the state.
A few MTSU students shared their thoughts and personal experiences with suicide and how it has impacted their lives. During this discussion, students had the chance to interact and gain information on becoming a “gatekeeper,” or a person who can recognize the potential signs of suicide.
“We came to Middle Tennessee State today to do a training on QPR so you can be informed on how to help save someone’s life,” said Kanitha Pope, a representative of WeMatter.
The QPR Method, which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer, outlines different ways students can ask a person about suicide, encourage them to seek help, refer them to services where they can get support and possibly save lives.
A major topic that was discussed during the talk involved the leading causes of suicide, which included bullying, mental illness, dramatic life changes and drug use.
“That’s another approach- the chemical imbalance that many face- especially if they’re on some sort of medication,” Pope said. “Your body internally is chemically imbalanced.”
Other topics included suicide statistics in Tennessee, resources to prevent suicide and awareness of the direct verbal, behavioral and situational cues of a person contemplating suicide.
“It’s a public health crisis in general,” she said, “so that’s why we started the whole movement.”
At the end of the session, participants were able to fill out training information forms and receive QPR training certificates that will be effective for one year.
The WeMatter Suicide Prevention Movement will have a session every month on campus to continue spreading awareness.