Suicide Prevention Action Plan
Initial Development and Implementation


Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Trainings for Suicide Prevention are now available in San Diego County.

QPR is designed to give members of the general public the basic skills necessary to recognize the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide.  As CPR is for the heart, QPR is for the mind.  We are happy to share that over 9,000 San Diego residents have been trained in QPR.  A big thanks to our volunteer trainers who continue to offer this valuable suicide prevention training to members of our San Diego community.

The QPR Gatekeeper Trainings are funded by the County of San Diego HHSA, and offered at no cost to attendees on behalf of the San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council.

As of December 1, 2015 more than 9,000 San Diegans have been trained in QPR.


As a QPR-trained Gatekeeper, you will learn to:

  • Recognize warning signs of suicide
  • Know how to offer hope
  • Know how to get help and save a life

Audience: Anyone in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide:  parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, ministers, doctors, nurses, office supervisors, caseworkers, firefighters, and many others.

Training Length: 1 to 1.5 hours

Cost: FREE

To Schedule a Training, contact Lora Cayanan at 858-609-7971 or


Testimonials from QPR Training Participants

Words from a concerned parent after attending Q.P.R. Training:

Just wanted you to know that I've been talking to my son, and guiding him to get help.  I asked the tough question, practicing it and managing to stay surprisingly calm "have you ever thought of suicide".  His response was "No.  I've thought of being dead when I am especially stressed out so I don't have to do anything, but never the act of killing myself. "When I pressed him about it, saying I couldn't imagine how overwhelming his courses or competition could be, he replied "Mom, I promise you I am not going to kill myself."  I don't think there is any immediate danger, but I do worry about him. So I told him about his family history of depression and said that it is important to seek professional help.  Since he used the word "depressed", I made him promise that he would call mental health services (and texted him the number)

The best argument:  You are smart, why try to diagnosis yourself?  They have experts.  Really smart experts.  Be honest with them and let them help. Don't stress out about being stressed or depressed or unmotivated.  Put it in someone else's hands. Just wanted you to know that I found your words incredibly helpful, and they really inspired me to be a lot more hands on.  I can assure you that I will make sure he gets in to see someone. Just thank you for listening, for being calm, for being a voice to my inner conscience.

Words from a community member that recently attended a Q.P.R. Training:

A few weeks ago my friend Greg placed his wife in a nursing facility, her escalating Alzheimer's Disease was becoming difficult to handle.  Greg visits her daily and always returns home depressed.  He was worried about himself; fearful that he may be slipping into a serious depression. It was difficult and scary for me to talk to Greg; I did not feel as though I had the tools to talk to him.

I recently attended a training focused on reaching out to isolated and lonely seniors.  Holly led the training and introduced us to QPR, a cousin to CPR.  QPR is not a treatment; rather, it is an effort to save a life by Questioning, Persuading and Referring. Holly spent considerable effort in teaching us to understand that we have to confront our own fears in our effort to be helpful, and even to say the "S" word (suicide).

The next time I saw Greg, I asked him, "Are you planning to do anything to hurt yourself?"  Greg assured me, "Absolutely not, but I do not want to fall into depression."  I asked if Greg would consider talking to someone about his depressed feelings.  Greg agreed; his agreement sounded like a sigh of relief.  Greg followed through and reports a good session and more to come.

QPR worked: I asked the Question, a little discussion Persuaded Tom to accept a Referral.  I was able to help because Holly demonstrated the way to go. In our most recent conversation Greg was hopeful, a giant step away from our conversation of several weeks ago. QPR: the Question requires courage to confront, Persuasion, requires ability to make sense, and Referral requires knowledge of community resources….thanks Holly, it works.

After a QPR Gatekeeper Training held at a San Diego County church, the host shared the following stories:

One of the training participants approached me immediately after the training and said that she needed to go home immediately to talk to her brother, who lives with her.  She said that he has been exhibiting multiple warning signs for suicide that were just taught in the QPR class, but she never recognized them as such.  She and I talked about this and prayed together, and then she went home to her brother.  After she walked in the door, he just happened to tell her that he  was feeling suicidal.  Because of the QPR training she had just participated in, she knew exactly what to do.  She talked to her brother, and they called the Access & Crisis Line together.  The folks at the crisis line referred them to help.  He subsequently went to a psychiatrist for assessment, and began therapy.  Had this woman not participated in the QPR Gatekeeper Training, she wouldn't have known what to do.   But, I'm happy to report now that the turn-around has been drastic!  He is now involved in supportive groups, and the church.

A few months after participating in a QPR Gatekeeper Training, a gentleman who participates on our pastoral support team received a call from a woman indicating she was suicidal, had a plan and means, and was ready to 'do it now'.  He remembered QPR, and supported this woman, talking to her about her value and purpose. She indicated she was willing to have someone come to help her, so while they were talking, he asked a colleague to dial 9-1-1.  The police arrived at the woman's home while he was still on the line with her.  They took her in for assessment and care.  The woman is now on her way to recovery.  She is so thankful to the man who helped her through her crisis, and is doing very well.


QPR Certified Instructors, click here for Training Resources


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Upcoming QPR Trainings

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Solana Beach, CA

Kelly Kelsoe


Please RSVP to the contact person listed

San Diego Access & Crisis Line (888) 724-7240

24 hours a day, 7 days a week