SYFS: Virtual Suicide Prevention training, handling Mental Health Services this month, and more

Above: QPR Institute promotes that three steps can help anyone prevent a suicide. SYFS is encouraging the public to learn more about those steps. (image cropped from Facebook)

In December, I shared details on Southborough Youth & Family Services’ upcoming in person programs this month. Given the spike in Covid cases, they have made some adjustments.

Some programs are postponed with details TBA. In the meantime, they will host QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention trainings over zoom.

You can sign up for one of two sessions this month:

  • Saturday, January 22nd, 9:00 – 11:00 am
  • Wednesday, January 26th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

If you are interested in signing up for either, sign up here(If you missed prior descriptions or need a reminder of what it’s about, scroll down.)

The virtual session is just part of the news in SYFS’ January newsletter.

The newsletter also includes a bulletin video, news that the Listen with Love workshop and Communications Skills Discussion Group will be postponed to February, and a reminder about how to apply for aid through the Fuel Assistance program.

They also explain their plan for offering Mental Health Services this month given the Covid spike:

During the first 2 weeks of January, all consultation and counseling appointments will be occurring online. SYFS staff will not be going into the schools until February, at the earliest. If you/your child is being seen in school during the school day, efforts will be made to conduct online appointments outside of school hours. We will resume in-person counseling appointments in our offices beginning the week of 1/17/22, assuming COVID-19 cases begin to decline.

For more information on our Mental Health Support Services, please visit our website:

Please contact our Assistant Director, Meaghan Eiland, at (508) 481-5676 ext 2 or if you have additional questions. Please note that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed over email.

For the full newsletter, click here.

QPR Training

Below are more details on what QPR training is about and why SYFS is providing it to the community.

SYFS promotes:

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America but when surveyed, 93% of Americans believe suicide can be prevented. (CDC, 2019) Luckily they are right: it is often and easily the most preventable cause of death.

The QPR Gatekeeper Training is considered a “program with evidence of effectiveness,” which means that it is a SAMSHA-approved program with data supporting its efficacy.

QPR stands for the three critical steps in the prevention method, “Question, Persuade, and Refer”:

Not unlike CPR, an acronym used to help people remember how to start the process of saving a life until a professional can intervene. . . The two-hour course teaches anyone how to recognize suicidal behavior, how to ask the “suicide” question, where to refer a person in need of help, and an opportunity to ask lots of questions and try out their new skills with role plays.

Here is more from SYFS’ prior announcement: 

Southborough Youth and Family Services is excited to announce that throughout this and next year, they will be offering QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention trainings. . .

The program will be taught by Shannon Kinayman, the program coordinator at SYFS. The department’s goal is to train at least 100 Southborough residents and municipal employees.

Many will remember that SYFS offered an online version of this training in 2019. While the online version is still a great way to gain these skills, in-person training allows for questions to be answered in real time as well as opportunities to try out the skills which, for many, can be awkward or even scary.

If you have questions or need help registering, call Shannon Kinayman at 508-481-5676, ext. 3. 

Below are more visual messages about suicide and prevention shared on social media by the QPR Institute.

Suicide Prevention - image shared by QPR Institute Suicide Prevention - image shared by QPR Institute Suicide Prevention - image shared by QPR Institute

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