This resource provides information about the risk factors, prevention/intervention strategies for older adults, and where to seek help.
This resource is intended to help health care and social service organizations develop strategies to prevent suicide in older adults by providing: • Information on the prevalence, risk factors, and lethality of suicide attempts in older adults; Recommendations on universal, selective, and indicated prevention strategies; Guidance for health and human service professionals on how to assess suicide risk and take appropriate actions to keep an older adult safe; and Suggestions and Resources to help aging services, behavioral health, and primary care providers develop and adopt effective suicide prevention programs.
In 2006, the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health (CCSMH) developed the first ever, multidisciplinary, evidence-based, national guidelines on the assessment of suicide risk and prevention of suicide in older adults. The CCSMH has developed and is continually updating an interactive Late Life Suicide Prevention Toolkit to enhance understanding of late life suicide and its prevention among front-line health care providers, medical and mental health care clinicians, trainees, and educators.
This 58 page toolkit is a resource for senior center staff and volunteers. As a focus point for the community, senior centers connect older adults with a range of critical services and programs, including meals and nutrition programs, transportation services, health and wellness programs, and social and recreational activities. Therefore, these centers can play an important role in promoting emotional health among older adults and increasing the factors that may protect them from suicide. This toolkit will give you many ideas, examples, tools, and resources for integrating suicide prevention into the work you already do to support the well-being of older adults.
This plan identifies three primary strategies to prevent suicide in older adults: 1. Clinically based suicide prevention. 2. Community-based suicide prevention. 3. Public health surveillance, program evaluation, and research.
Suicide in older adults is continuing to rise and, as the older population increases, so will the rate of suicide. By learning more about the risk factors, assessment areas to explore, and ways to improve treatment, primary care providers can help decrease the incidence of suicidal behaviors in this population.