Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the training. The training is only available and free to UK employees and students, and the story has been corrected. We apologize for the error.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 800,000 people die by suicide each year. That’s more than all wars and homicides combined.

With this in mind, The University of Kentucky’s nursing program is stepping up to teach students about the warning signs of suicide and what to do next.

UK is now offering a one-hour online program that teaches people a suicidal prevention tactic called “QPR”, which stands for “question, persuade, refer.”

QPR training teaches how to recognize early signs of suicide and how to respond.

The training program started as a class for just 30 nursing students at a time. It has now grown into an online platform to accommodate a larger demand.

Amanda Lykins, an assistant professor for UK’s undergraduate nursing program and she said, “We know that through this training, one little interaction can save a life.”

Lykins also said the university has seen demand go up for the campus “Mental health crisis hotline.”

“We are seeing an increase in students accessing that throughout the semester,” Lykins said. “We are seeing more and more students who are socially isolated and doesn’t have the ability to be able to cope with those difficult situations.


Lykins said one positive development in the last year is that suicide has dropped from the 10th leading cause of death in the nation to 12th.

“I think that the stigma around mental health and mental illness has definitely improved,” Lykins said. “I feel like we are providing more awareness that it’s ok not to be ok.”

However, even with the lower rates, the WHO reports there is one suicide death every 40 seconds; 15 people every 10 minutes.

UK said its online QPR training is free to all employees and students and is funded by UK HealthCare’s Healthy Kentucky Initiative.