Geriatric Suicide Prevention and the Role of Primary Care Providers: Fact Sheet

Suicide in elderly populations is a major public health issue. People aged 85 years and older have some of the highest suicide rates of any age group in the U.S., and older adults who attempt suicide are more likely to complete these attempts than others. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated existing risk factors, such as social isolation, depression, and family discord or loss. However, primary care providers and their teams which work with geriatric populations have a critical opportunity to intervene.

Developed by Adelphi University’s Dr. Daniel K. Kaplan, an expert on care for geriatric populations, ACU’s new brief explores depression, mental health, and suicide in geriatric populations and how primary care providers and their teams can help. Accompanying our recent webinar on geriatric suicide prevention, this document details the scope of the crisis and provides evidence-based strategies for how primary care teams can help screen for warning signs and address risk of suicide in geriatric patients at health centers and other facilities. Read the brief or watch the archived webinar.

Read the publication, view our accompanying webinar, or browse other Suicide Safer Care resources.

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More Resources on Preventing Suicide in Providers, Staff, and Patients

Using the Zero Suicide framework as a foundation and with the generous support of the Centene Corporation, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved has created the Suicide Safer Care curriculum to train primary care providers and their teams on skills for suicide risk assessment, evidence-based interventions, referral and transition when needed, and fundamentally changing the culture of addressing suicide risk across healthcare professionals’ clinical practice. Learn more about the curriculum and useful resources for primary care providers.