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Hardin County Fire Department, VFW sponsoring free suicide prevention class

If a family member suffers a heart attack, wouldn’t you prefer to know how to give them CPR instead of standing by helplessly?
Mental health experts say it’s just as crucial to receive training to help keep a loved one from being their own worst enemy.
A free, open to the public suicide prevention class takes place Thursday, Jan. 16, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Fire Station 12 at 90 Walnut St. in Savannah. The fire station is beside the ball field behind the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Harbert Drive.
The event is organized by Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network and sponsored by the Hardin County Fire Department and Veterans of Foreign War Post 4606.
The TSPN is a statewide organization working to eliminate the stigma of suicide.
“One life lost to suicide is one life too many,” said Lindsey Carr, TSPN southwest regional director. “It’s a more prevalent issue than we want to believe.”
The QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) class is about statistics regarding suicide in Tennessee and how to identify warning signs and risk factors that may put the people in your life more at risk. Suicide does not discriminate against age, race, means or profession.
Carr said, “We like to think of QPR as CPR – anyone who is CPR certified is ready to give assistance in case of emergency until a doctor or more professional help can be reached. QPR is similar in the sense that although no one will walk out of a QPR training a counselor or a mental health professional, they will be able to give assistance and listen to the person in crisis until more qualified help can be rendered.”
Hardin County EMT Crystal Brewer is the trainer for the class.
“One thing I’ve realized is it’s hard for people to talk about suicide. But this class teaches how to be straight forward, how to ask the hard questions,” said Brewer. “People who commit suicide don’t want to die, they just want the pain to end.
“I lost my brother to suicide. That was before I had learned the warning signs. ‘Knowing the warning signs’ doesn’t mean you can always stop a suicide, but you will be prepared to try, and you can be a part of the community who is breaking the stigma.”
“What we hope to instill in our participants,” Carr said, “is a better knowledge about what suicide is and what it is not; we want to debunk the myths as well as give the facts. We want to answer questions, be a resource for those struggling, and in turn have individuals walk out of our QPR trainings as a resource for those in their communities,” said Carr.

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