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Resources and Training for First Responders

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Resources and Training for 

First responders—police, firefighters, and paramedics—are often called to deal with high-risk, suicidal people.
paramedics standing at the back of an ambulance

A course for all members of the first responders community about mental health to help police, first responders, and other public safety audiences respond to mental-health-related calls without compromising safety.

Free training on the Columbia Protocol, a tool for assessing someone’s risk for suicide. You can learn how healthcare providers can use the Columbia Protocol here.

Learn more about reducing access to things people can use for suicide, like firearms or medicines.

Training is available for First Responders

Youth Mental Health Webinars: Rhode Island Student Assistance Services (RISAS) has free webinars on a wide variety of youth mental health topics recorded on their website. Topics include everything from supporting your LGBTQIA child, to life after the pandemic, to recognizing substance abuse in young people, to understanding social media and young people.

Training in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), an evidence-based training about the warning signs of suicide and how to refer a youth for help, is available to all school districts and community organizations. For more information or to request training for your school or organization, contact Program Manager Leigh A. Reposa at Lreposa@risas.org or 401-952-7260.

The Samaritans of Rhode Island offer professional development and school-based training.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers this suicide prevention training available for general audiences with specific modules for seniors, LGBTQ people, and workplace settings.

Now Matters Now, a skills-based site grounded in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, offers free training for those with suicidal thoughts, substance or mental health problems or their family members and friends. It also offers courses for healthcare, crisis, peer support service and school counseling providers.

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers a range of training broadly related to preventing and responding to domestic and gender-based violence, including such topics as Domestic Violence 101, cybersecurity and domestic violence, bystander intervention, and more.

A course that teaches you how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. It focuses on reaching out to provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

A one-hour training focused on “gatekeepers”—people in a position to recognize a crisis and do something about it. A gatekeeper can be a friend, coworker, teacher, boss, or parent.