news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb University Receives Support to Provide Suicide Prevention Training

QPR—Question, Persuade and Refer—Program Offered to Faculty, Staff and Students

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University has received support from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund, to provide QPR Training to faculty, staff and students. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer—the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.

Lesley Villarose, vice president for Student Development and dean of students, noted the importance of the training for faculty and staff. “QPR training not only addresses a critical public health concern but also contributes to creating a safe, compassionate, and supportive campus community that prioritizes mental health and well-being,” she observed. “This training will allow for all of us to have the tools and resources to support our students.”

Villarose, citing the QPR website, added, “Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.”

Gardner-Webb’s Director of Counseling Services Stephanie Allen said QPR can be learned in as little as one-hour through Gatekeeper Training. Individuals who want to become certified trainers participate in Pathfinder Training, which is 14+ hours. Pathfinder training is designed to create a new workforce of certified suicide care first responders. Pathfinder training teaches individuals to identify those at risk early in a crisis and respond immediately with evidence-based and evidence-informed interventions known to reduce suicidal ideation and the risk of a suicide attempt.

Stephanie Allen

The online training teaches the following key components:

  • How to Question, Persuade and Refer someone who may be suicidal.
  • How to get help for yourself or learn more about preventing suicide.
  • The common causes of suicidal behavior.
  • The warning signs of suicide.
  • How to get help for someone in crisis.

The mission of QPR is to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. QPR is helpful for any individual who interacts with others, as it helps the person to recognize early warning signs of suicide. Allen said people who identify a problem, shouldn’t be afraid to confront the person. “It’s always better to ask and address a concern, than to lose someone because we were too afraid to talk to them,” she asserted.

This training is especially important on college and university campuses. “Each year, approximately 24,000 college students attempt suicide while 1,100 students succeed in their attempt,” Allen shared. “Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students.”

How to access the training:

  • Navigate to:
  • Enter the organization code GWU.
  • Select create account.
  • Complete and submit student registration form.
  • QPR will display and email the newly created username and password.
  • Student can log in to begin training at
  • Anyone with the organization code GWU can create an account.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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