Suicide Prevention & Older Adults
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., affecting men and women of all ages. Older adults are especially vulnerable due to factors that range from grief over the passing of loved ones to chronic illness and much more. In fact, in 2020, suicide rates were highest among adults ages 85 years or older (20.86 per 100,000). Understanding the causes and risk factors of suicide can make a great difference in saving lives. Tune in to learn more about suicide prevention in older adults. Learn about risk factors and obtain resources.
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We are joined by mental health expert Lisa Rector.
Lisa Rector is a Clinical Liaison at Sanford Behavioral Health in Grand Rapids, MI, and has been providing her expertise and support to the mental health field for over 20 years.
Her career began at the Wayne County Crisis Line as a counselor for crisis and suicide calls and calls for local social service resources. She then became the first counselor for Wayne county’s grant-funded mobile crisis response team, an experience that led to a love for crisis assessment and the next 18 years of work doing crisis screenings in emergency departments and crisis centers across the Metro Detroit area.
Since 2016, Lisa has been involved in business development and community outreach, spaces that have provided her the opportunity to work with suicide prevention while educating local clinicians on behavioral health and social service resources.
- Common myths about suicide, especially when thinking about older adults
- Facts about suicide in older adults
- Important risk factors for suicide in older adults
- Warning signs of suicide in older adults caregivers should watch for
- How can caregivers and others support an older adult with suicidal thoughts
- Steps should someone take if they believe their loved one is considering suicide
- Information on the new national suicide prevention hotline
- Helpful resources for older adults and caregivers to learn more about suicide prevention
- Depression in Older Adults Rack Card
- 20 Signs Your Loved One May Need More Help
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
- Suicide and Older Adults: What You Should Know (National Council on Aging)
- Help Prevent Suicide in Older Adults
- 5 Common Myths About Suicide Debunked (NAMI)
- Reducing Loneliness and Social Isolation among Older Adults (Suicide Prevention Center)
- Loneliness and Social Isolation - Tips for Staying Connected
- Older Adults and Depression
- Preventing Suicide in Older Adults
- Suicide Resources and Programs for Older Adults
- QPR Institute
- Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide – A Toolkit for Senior Living Communities
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health, suicide or substance use crisis or emotional distress, reach out 24/7 to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) by dialing or texting 988 or using chat services at suicidepreventionlifeline.org to connect to a trained crisis counselor. You can also get crisis text support via the Crisis Text Line by texting NAMI to 741741.