5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference – A Review
The 5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference was held on December 10, 2020. Keynote Speaker Pablo Campos from Active Minds shared his insights about struggling with depression and addiction – and his road from attempting suicide to recovery. QPR Suicide Prevention Training was also offered.
Pablo Campos shared an inspiring story of his challenges in his road to recovery and talked about how stigma, cultural norms, and lack of education affected him and his recovery process. He discussed important obstacles that many struggles with when dealing with a mental illness and addiction; growing up without any discussion of or education on mental health, having to juggle the norms of two cultures, and lacking healthy coping skills. Pablo shared about not understanding why he had feelings of anger and frustration and of being unsure how to cope. He talked about how stigma and a lack of education made seeking help more difficult, but by finding a strong network of professionals and loved ones, he was able to grow from being his own worst enemy to a powerful participant in his recovery.
The QPR training is a great educational resource that teaches how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. The program is designed to teach lay and professional "gatekeepers" the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond; it is designed to increase the chance of survival in the event of a crisis. The mission for QPR is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training.
Suicide is a tragic reaction to severe distress or feelings of hopelessness in one's life. Thoughts of suicide do not necessarily mean that you want to die. Instead they mean that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. However, suicidal thoughts do not have to become suicidal actions. It's important to know that suicide can be preventable. Whether you are considering ending your life, or know someone who feels suicidal, learn to recognize the warning signs and how to get immediate help. You may save a life – your own or someone else's.