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Intermountain Health Suggests QPR – Question, Persuade, Refer – for Suicide Prevention

Behavioral health professionals at Intermountain Health suggest using a suicide prevention technique called QPR - Question, Persuade, Refer

(PRUnderground) January 22nd, 2024

The CDC has reported suicide rates increasing through the U.S. recently, with provisional data for the US for 2022 shows a 3% increase in the number of deaths 2022 compared to 2021.

Utah alone experienced a nearly 12% increase in the number of residents who died by suicide in 2022 compared to 2021. Last year, 717 Utahns died by suicide.

“This increase is a true call to action for all of is,” said Kim Meyers, Intermountain Health, “It is vitally important to know how to recognize if someone may be at risk and how to help them, along with the resources available.”

“The holidays are a hard time of year for folks,” said Meyers. “Look out for each other – if you have a friend, neighbor, family member who is struggling, check in on them, offer rides, take out to a meal, go to visit, etc.”

Know the warning signs for suicide and how you can help make a difference. Behavioral health professionals often use a technique called QPR – Think of CPR – CPR is life saving and so is QPR which stands for Question, Persuade, Refer.

First, the warning signs: – What are you hearing from them. What is their situation? What is going on in their life? And finally, how are they behaving? Here are some examples.

What are they saying?

    1. Talk about ending their life, being a burden to others, having no reason to live, You would be better off w/out me
    2. Soon you won’t have to worry about me
    3. If X happens, I’ll kill myself
  1. I wish I were dead

What is the situation?

  1. Being fired from a job / expelled from school
  2. Recent unwanted move
  3. Family problems/alienation
  4. Death of a spouse, child, loved one, or friend
  5. Diagnosis of a serious or terminal illness

How are they acting?

  1. Previous suicide attempt
  2. Acquiring lethal means
  3. Giving away prized possessions
  4. Increased use of drugs/alcohol, especially after a period of abstinence.

What can you do? – Question them, Persuade them to get help, and make a Referral for them to get help.

  • Questions include: Are you thinking about killing yourself? You seem really despondent, I wonder if you are thinking of taking your life?
  • Persuade someone to stay alive! Listen to the problem / issue and give your full attention, don’t assign judgement, don’t try to solve, offer hope.
  • Refer to help: There are many options – if you are concerned about an imminent danger/threat, you can call 911 or talk to a local emergency department. Other resources include the 988 Suicide Prevention Life Line which is available 7 days a week, 24/7. You can also help them find a mental health provider and schedule an appointment. The Intermountain Health Behavioral Health Navigation Hotline can help with this and is available most days from 8 am to 8 pm. (833-442-2211)

The Behavioral Health Navigation Line gives Utahns a free resource to talk to someone from low-risk stressors to more crisis and mental well-being conditions. Behavioral health counselors who answer the line can refer callers to resources if there are needs for long-term help.


Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Talk to your healthcare provider about your mental well-being concerns.
You can also utilize the myStrength app, use “INTERMOUNTAINCOMMUNITY” free access code, and the app can help you manage sleep, stress, pain, anxiety, and depression.
The free Intermountain Behavioral Health Navigation Line is available seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm. (833-442-2211).

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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