Gilbert Leadership Class 31 Selects Project to Raise Awareness of Mental Health

Submitted on behalf of Gilbert Leadership Class 31

We, the Gilbert Leadership Class 31, are passionate about supporting Mental Health in our community. The Gilbert Community Engagement Task Force has identified five areas of concern in our community, with Mental Health and Suicide Prevention being their first and foremost issue. It's not hard to see why...

1 in 5 adults experience mental illness (SAMHSA), and in 2021 31% of teens self-reported that they suffer from a mental illness (depression/anxiety/suicidal thoughts) (Pew Research). America also faces a suicide epidemic. In 2020 suicide rates were 30% higher than in 2000. The youth suicide rate increased by 56% between 2007 and 2017. (CDC) Arizona's teen suicide rate increased by 30% in 2022. (

Gilbert Leadership Class 31 feels personally connected to this issue for a variety of reasons. We also see mental health issues in our families, children, friends, and even ourselves. We want to help! Our class project this year includes a variety of ways to raise awareness of mental health resources and reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues.

One thing we have chosen to do is to offer a free community suicide prevention training class.

QPR Suicide prevention training is evidence-based, peer-reviewed, and likened to a mental health version of CPR. It teaches you both the MYTHS and FACTS about suicide. It teaches you the warning signs to look for in someone who might be having suicidal thoughts. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer because these are the steps that can help you save a life.

Local certified QPR Trainer, Suzi Freeman, is passionate about teaching young people and families about suicide prevention. She has graciously volunteered her time and resources to provide a community QPR Suicide Prevention Training class in Gilbert on March 4 from 9-10:30 am at the Gilbert Community Center. QPR training is simple but vital information for parents, teens, pastors, teachers, and anyone concerned about the mental health of a friend or loved one. It is basic information that everyone should know. It is estimated that for every 100 people trained, at least one life will be saved, and that is our goal! To save lives!

Please see the link on our attached flyer to sign up for this free training through Twelve years old is the minimum recommended age, and anyone under age 18 will need a Google Permission form signed by a parent or guardian. A link to this can be found on the Eventbrite registration.

Best regards,

Members of the Gilbert Leadership Class 31