I have some Hold My Guns® updates to share with you that make my heart sing! For many of us who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide, September, which is Suicide Prevention Month, can feel overwhelming. I hope that as you read these updates, you will feel uplifted knowing that your support of this mission to save lives, protect property, and preserve rights, is truly bringing hope and making a difference.
QPR Suicide Prevention Training at a gun range? YES! We did it!
On July 26th, 2021, in collaboration with the Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Taskforce and the Lower Providence Rod and Gun Club in Audubon, PA, Hold My Guns® offered a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Institute Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training to approximately 50 members of the firearms community. The course comes with a certificate that can be added to credentials for firearms instructors, range safety officers, and gun shop employees. We are grateful to everyone who helped to make this possible, especially trainers Anna Trout and Officer Anthony Parkins!
Here is one of the responses to the student survey – perhaps a life was already saved due to this class?!
“I came away with some concrete tools for helping friends and family,” said one of the students, offering feedback about the training event through an anonymous survey. “I used one of the suggestions just yesterday with a friend that is suffering from a lot of loss in a very short period of time. I’m not sure I would have reached out to him the way I did if I hadn’t taken the class.”
Wow. That says it all right there.
We absolutely want to continue to bring this life-saving training to our beloved firearms community. To that end, on September 29th, members of the Hold My Guns® team are taking the QPR Instructor’s Training. The cost will be $495 per train-the-trainer training, and it will allow us to teach QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training to others. We appreciate your support to help off-set these costs!
Did you miss the September 2nd Hold My Guns® live presentation for the VA/SAMHSA Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenges to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families?
This presentation was given at the request of Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenge leaders, with the goal of sharing community-based suicide prevention efforts with the state teams.
In additon to sharing about the Hold My Guns® mission, some of my favorite highlights on the slide deck are:
- The right to bear arms is one that is diversely exercised (Slide #11)
- Firearms storage isn’t just for mental health reasons! (Slide #19)
- Concern about the stigma-enforcing phrase “gun violence” (Slide #27)
- Firearms community resources that are making a difference (Slide #28)
Which part of the presentation resonated with you?
2021 USCCA Concealed Carry & Home Defense Expo, Fort Worth, TX
This past week, I was given the “okay” to share that I am a confirmed speaker at the USCCA Expo! The event takes place October 1-3, at the Fort Worth Convention Center. The USCCA team is still nailing down the schedule and room locations, and I will pass on to you more information when it becomes available. I hope you are able to join me in Texas. Visit usccaexpo.com for more information about this event.
Here is the description of the presentation:
Creating an Individualized Safety Plan
Situational awareness – being aware of one’s surroundings and ready to engage appropriately – is vital to carrying a concealed firearm. It can make the difference between life or death. Yet, many gun owners are experiencing situations in their own homes where the threat is a more personal one. Range Safety Officer and USCCA Gold Member Sarah Joy Albrecht, co-founder of Hold My Guns®, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that partners with FFLs to provide voluntary offsite firearms storage, will guide participants in the creation of an individualized safety plan that includes the safekeeping of firearms during a time of crisis or personal need such as deployment. Drawing on her 11 years of experience as a doula and birth educator, when she helped families navigate changes that go along with a bringing a new baby into the home or holding space during a time of devastating loss, Albrecht emphasizes taking personal responsibility and making informed decisions that work best to meet the needs of the individual and their family. When taking a proactive self-governance approach on this often-taboo yet important issue, gun owners have the opportunity to reduce suicide, protect their property, and preserve their rights.
Thank you for taking the time to read through these updates. The work to bring awareness to the mission is hard work, but it is worth every moment.
We are deeply appreciative of your support.
Sarah Joy Albrecht
(L to R) Anna Trout (QPR Trainer), Sarah Joy Albrecht (HMG Founder & Executive Director), Paul Jones (HMG Board Treasurer), Officer Anthony Parkins (QPR Trainer), Genevieve Jones (Co-Founder & HMG Board President), Matthew Blank (HMG Board Director)