QPR for Veterans

The core training is QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention as customised for those helping vets, and which is one of the most researched citizen-action suicide prevention interventions in the world. Proven to be safe and effective in more than 20 independent published research studies, QPR is listed in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. This rigorous course includes two best-practice suicide prevention training programs, Level I QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention and an approved, brief edition of the Counselling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM), with a special focus on the relationship of weapons to veterans who own them.

The QPR for Vets program is intended to prevent suicide not just among veterans, but among colleagues, co-workers and family members. For those interested in learning how to conduct an initial suicide risk assessment, and to reduce immediate risk for suicide, the QPR Suicide Triage training program is recommended. It is also specifically designed to help veteran peer counsellors to help their fellow veterans.


With a special focus on veterans, warrior psychology, and how to apply social network theory to prevent suicide, the QPR for Vets Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention is an expanded version of the QPR program that has been taught to more than two million people by 15,000 instructors since 1998. QPR has been researched in veteran outreach centres nationwide using a random clinical trails design and has been reported to be safe and effective. To review this research - the gold standard for evidence of effectiveness - please google "NREPP QPR" to review the official program description and research results.

Why this training program?

  • The rate of suicide amongst ex-servicemen in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was 13% higher than the general male population, with the age group of 18-24 year old ex-servicemen being significantly higher.
  • If you live with, work with, or serve veterans, you may be the only person in a strategic position to recognize the onset of a suicide crisis and take bold positive action to avoid a tragedy.
  • Knowing what to say and what to do when it needs to be done can save a life, and we will teach you these skills

The mission of the QPR Institute is to:

  • Raise public awareness about suicide and its prevention.
  • Provide low-cost, high-tech, effective, basic gatekeeper and intervention skills training to lay persons who may be able to prevent a suicide.
  • Provide suicide prevention and intervention training programs for a variety of professionals and for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students preparing for careers in the helping professions.
  • Reduce morbidity and mortality of suicidal patients, veterans, students, and employees through a systems approach to suicide risk reduction that enhances detection of suicidal behaviors and those clinical competencies necessary to assess, manage, monitor, and treat patients known to be at elevated risk for suicidal behaviours.

As of this writing in early 2015, thousands of clinical health care providers have been trained in how to detect, assess, manage, and treat suicidal consumers, and nearly 2 million people have been trained to recognize and refer persons who may be at risk of suicide.

If this sounds like an "army" of people helping to prevent suicide, it is. Now, with your help, we will create a new division in that army of educated, trained gatekeepers to help prevent suicide among our veterans.

While expert opinion may differ as to what helper competencies are required to assist suicidal persons achieve the most beneficial outcomes, little controversy exists about the lack of qualified manpower to help the millions of people who think about, attempt, and sometimes die by suicide.

Even among licensed professionals there is a serious lack of systematic training in how to a) detect suicide risk, b) assess immediate risk for suicidal behaviors and c) provide helpful crisis mitigation services to suicidal persons.

The primary mission of the QPR Institute has been to provide technology transfer of evidence-based knowledge into useful skills and helpful interventions for those wishing to assist suicidal persons. Training is our only mission.

This training is not a substitute for a university degree in counselling or other mental health profession, nor can it provide the face-to-face supervised experience those in the helping professions are provided in the course of their professional career development. The program does not teach suicide risk assessment skills. Suicide risk assessment training is provided in other QPR Institute programs.

  • Participants must be at least 18 years of age
  • If employed by, or volunteering for, an organisation, participants agree to accept all expectations and employment rules of their parent organisation. The QPR Institute does not vet or otherwise qualify students for this course.

Modularized in a rich mix of text, video, voice-over PowerPointâ„¢ lectures, interactive practice sessions, case scenarios, and other state-of-the-art interactive and e-learning technologies, the QPR for Vets training program provides a dynamic introduction to suicide risk detection, intervention, means restriction, referral and follow up.

The course includes comments and observations by a combat veteran Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant on how best to approach vets in trouble and get them to counseling, as well as "Gunnys" personal observations about the experience of combat, moral injury, lived experience with suicide and high risk behaviors, and therapy for PTSD.

Participants who complete this course should be able to:

  • Understand suicide as a major public health problem
  • Describe warrior psychology and why male veterans find asking for help difficult or impossible
  • Better understand military culture
  • Describe how Social Network Theory can be applied to preventing suicide
  • Explain the potential impact of PTSD and TBI on suicide risk in veterans
  • Understand the common myths and facts surrounding suicide
  • Recognise at least three suicide warning signs
  • Recognise at least three risk factors for suicide
  • Recognise at least three protective factors against suicide
  • Demonstrate increased knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy in how to interact with veterans
  • Identify verbal, behavioural, and situational suicide warning signs unique to veterans and military personnel
  • Know how to engage and assist a suicidal veterans using the QPR intervention
  • Know how to reduce access to the means of suicide
  • Engage in an interactive and helpful conversation with a veteran who has attempted suicide
  • Understand and describe moral injury as a unique risk factor for veterans
  • Engage in an interactive and helpful conversation with the loved ones or family members of a veteran who has died by suicide
  • Demonstrate increased knowledge about suicide and its causes
  • Understand the nature of suicide and describe at least one theory of suicidal behaviour
  • Identify and locate major suicide prevention web sites and online resources for veterans and active military