Professional News

Suicide prevention training available to employees

Mark Cornelison | UKphoto
Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2022) — University of Kentucky Human Resources, in collaboration with UK HealthCare's Healthy Kentucky Initiative, is offering a free online training to help employees who know someone affected by mental illness become a mental health champion and learn how to save a life through a research-backed suicide prevention training program. 

Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) online training teaches the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. The QPR mission is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. All staff interested in learning the QPR technique for preventing suicide are invited to take the training. Register for and learn more about the new QPR online training here. UK departments can also request a live QPR training here for their unit.

“QPR suicide prevention training gives participants the education which empowers them to make a positive difference in the life of another individual,” said Ann Bassoni, a licensed clinical social worker and mental health therapist with UK Human Resources. “The program teaches individuals to ask the most difficult question most hope they never have to ask, ‘Are you thinking of killing yourself?’”
UK HR has a full range of mental and emotional health resources for employees including short-term individual counselinghealth coachingworkshops and on demand content like the '"Becoming Wildly Resilient" podcast.  

“The addition of QPR training is one example of our ongoing effort to take care of our people,” said Jody Ensman, UK HR well-being director. “Mental and emotional health are critical to one’s overall well-being. We want our employees to know we are here for them when they need it, and we’re ready to meet them where they are on their unique well-being journey.” 

If you or someone you know is currently in distress, immediately contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 (call, text or chat) or 800-273-TALK (8255) to be routed to the local Lifeline network crisis center. For non-crisis emotional and coping support, please call the NAMI Lexington WarmLine at 877-840-5167 (1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 5-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday).

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.