(Stillwater, Okla)  — Payne County Youth Services has announced a new and critical program coming to Stillwater and Payne County, Building a Competent Community for Suicide Prevention. This initiative of PCYS will target not only children and youth but will also serve to educate members of the community regarding how to help reduce the escalating rate of suicides for all ages in our area.


Two sessions will be held on April 9, 2019 at OSU Seratean Center Lecture Hall, 1514 W. Hall of Fame Ave. in Stillwater.  Those sessions will be held from 3:30 – 4:30 pm and from 7 – 8 pm. 

View informational video here: https://vimeo.com/326872814


“The rates of suicide have risen to critical levels throughout the country” stated Janet Fultz, PCYS Executive Director. “Oklahoma’s rate of suicide is significantly higher than the national average and it is time that we come together as agencies, schools, civic groups, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, first responders, and the general public to make a concerted effort to stop children, youth and adults from dying from this tragedy.”


The new program at PCYS, Building a Competent Community for Suicide Prevention, will implement the evidenced-based curriculum, QPR, which stands for Question, Persuade, Refer, and is produced by the QPR Institute in Spokane, Washington. The fundamental premise of QPR takes into account that most persons at-risk for suicide do not self-refer. To locate these individuals, identify their suicidal risk and ideations, and get them to much needed professional services is at the heart of the QPR approach to suicide prevention.


“What this will mean for our local communities in Payne County,” continued Fultz, “is that PCYS will train as many citizens as we can reach to be the citizen gatekeepers to our at-risk neighbors, co-workers, family members, and others. We will do this through an organized process of partnering with schools, churches and other faith-based organizations, civic clubs, professional organizations, book clubs, individuals, businesses, Chambers of Commerce, and others to bring in our trainer on the PCYS staff to educate the public on how to be competent, informed, and feel empowered to reach out to a person who may be demonstrating symptoms of being at-risk for suicide.”


“QPR trained citizens obviously do not replace or do the same tasks as mental health professionals, counselors, doctors, first responders, or others who provide treatment to suicidal individuals,” she continued. “QPR trained citizens will, however, increase the chances that someone at-risk for suicide may be noticed and assisted to obtain professional help. It may only take that one moment in time for someone to notice and to take action, question, persuade, and refer, to truly save a life. “


To contact PCYS, you may call them at 405-377-3380, email the Executive Director at [email protected], visit their website at www.pcys.org., or find them on Facebook and Twitter. PCYS is a tax-exempt, 501©3 organization.