PCC Receives Grant to Provide Suicide Prevention Training

PCC campus clock tower on an early fall morning.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College has received an $8,195-grant from the University of North Carolina System to provide faculty, staff and students QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training aimed at reducing suicidal behaviors and saving lives.

Those selected for the instruction will become QPR-certified Gatekeeper Instructors capable of recognizing the warning signs of a suicide crisis and knowing how to question, persuade and refer individuals for help. The project, led by PCC Office of Teaching and Learning Senior Director Happy Gingras, will include online and in-person QPR training.

Gingras says the purpose of QPR training is to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors through innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention methods. The belief is that quality education can empower anyone, regardless of background, to make a positive difference in the lives of people they know.

Gingras says the training will be available for faculty to embed in coursework, where appropriate. The instruction, she added, can also serve as an alternative to canceled classes.

Gingras says her office will be the point of contact for faculty wanting QPR instructors to visit their classrooms and facilitate in-person training for students. She said the college would also be purchasing online registrations for faculty to offer the training to students through distance learning.

Gingras says the goal is to provide QPR training to 1,100 students and staff during the one-year project period, which began July 1.

According to Jamie Mitchell, director of PCC’s Grants Management Office, funding for the college’s QPR training comes through GEER II funds the UNC System Office was awarded by the N.C. Office of State Budget and Management.