The first QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Instructor class for the New Year was hosted by Director of Monroe County TN Schools Dr. DeAnna McClendon on January 6, 2020 in Madisonville TN. The class was sponsored and conducted by Vet to Vet Tennessee. The 11 graduates included 10 Monroe County School Counselors and the Suicide Prevention Committee Chair of Anderson County Schools of their Advancing Wellness And Resilience Education (AWARE) program.
Assisting during the class was VTVT QPR Gatekeeper Instructors Dr. Emily Hager, Sheryn and Don Davis and QPR Institute Master Instructor Ed Junod. This is the first phase of VTVT’s three (3) Middle/High School QPR Suicide Prevention pilot program. VTVT is working directly with the QPR Institute’s Founder and CEO Dr. Paul Quinnett and Monroe County Schools Director of Federal Programs Lee Anne Strickland.
Our next steps will be to request approval from our school board to use the curriculum and surveys with our students. That will take place in February. Between now and then, Lee Anne will work with the school counselors to plan schedules and determine logistics for the classes and for the “Worth It” plays. Lee Anne will also confirm with all relevant individuals for the March 3, 2020, staff development day Advanced Gatekeeper online training. Finally, I will work with our coordinated school health office to set up the Suicide Risk Assessment and Management online training for our licensed clinical social workers/licensed professional counselors.
If the curriculum is approved phase two will be implemented and all students from 5th to 12th will trained as QPR Instructors by the end of the semester and 3-4 plays will be performed at different locations in Monroe County Tennessee in May 2020.
The program was created by the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council and Vet to Vet Tennessee. It is endorsed by Professor Paul Quinnett, Monroe County Mayor MItch Ingram and Monroe County General Sessions/Family/Veterans Court Judge Dwaine Thomas and the Monroe County DAV. The program is funded by Vet to Vet Tennessee and donations from the QPR Institute.