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Behind the Name: What does it mean to be “FailSafe?”

Some of you may have been wondering, why FailSafe for Life? What does the name have to do with suicide prevention?

When Dr. Paul Quinnett designed the “QPR” gatekeeper training, he specifically modeled his idea after CPR. Within the theory behind QPR and CPR, there is a concept discussed called the "chain of survival.” The chain of survival is a four-ringed approach designed to entail what needs to happen when helping someone in a crisis:

  • The first ring is early recognition of warning signs, that someone around a person in crisis is trained to see what is happening so they can respond.

  • The second ring is early application of intervention (QPR or CPR), so this crisis can begin to be averted.

  • The third ring is early access to professional assessment.

  • The fourth ring is early competent treatment.

These rings are not independent of each other. They are interloped to show their connectedness and interdependence. When looking at this through a suicide prevention lens, if we see a breakdown anywhere in this chain, we see suicide attempts or deaths.


Chain of Survival

A failsafe is defined as: A system or plan that comes into operation in the event of something going wrong OR is there to prevent such an occurrence.

FailSafe for Life’s mission is to help each of these facets of survival function in the best way. We are a FailSafe of sorts for the community in the chain of survival for suicide prevention to avoid a breakdown in the first place. We also know this sort of prevention can’t be done if just some of us are involved. It takes our whole community to create this safety net so our most vulnerable members don’t fall through the cracks.

We need you to be a part of this mission. We need you to be a FailSafe. You can get involved by looking for ways to be more connected to others-doing random acts of kindness, taking a moment out of your day to check on someone who seems sad, distant, or angry, and making sure everyone feels included. You can get educated on suicide prevention measures so you’ll know how to help someone in crisis. You can help keep hope alive by believing someone who is trying to tell you something is wrong and letting them know they are not alone.

A future without suicide can be created but it will take all of us doing our part to get there. If we all take a small part in keeping this chain connected, we have all become a FailSafe.


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