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Advisory Committee Chair

Ann Elizabeth Montgomery

Advisory Committee Members

Susan Davies

John Blosnich

David Coombs

Gregory Pavela

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2021

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Public Health

Abstract

A 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) data brief included suicide in the top 20 causes of death worldwide. The WHO also listed suicide as the second leading cause of death for those aged 15 – 29 worldwide. In the US, suicide is the leading cause of violent death and has been consistently ranked as the 10th leading cause of death among all age groups in the US since 2008. In Alabama, the CDC reports suicide as the 11th leading cause of death in the state and the second leading cause of death for those aged 15 – 34. This study investigates the effects of Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Training on participants attitudes, beliefs, and perceived self-efficacy pre- and post- training. Pre- and Post- Training surveys were collected from 508 individuals with 129 matched pairs. Structured interviews were conducted with 8 participants. Quantitative analysis showed that there was a difference pre- and post- training in participants attitudes, beliefs, and perceived self-efficacy after QPR training. Changes from pre- and post- surveys indicated that, after training, respondents believed that hopelessness is one of the strongest predictors of suicide, there are warning signs, that suicidal people don’t really want to die, they know the warning signs of suicide, and that they know how to ask someone about suicide. A template analysis of the qualitative interviews also showed that QPR was beneficial in aiding during a suicidal crisis.

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