Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Suicide among Older Adults
Older adults die by suicide at a higher rate than the national average. Every year, more than 5,000 Americans over the age of 65 die by suicide, a death toll that is largely preventable. Elderly white men have the highest rate of suicide of all demographic groups in the U.S. Although suicide rates of older Americans have been slowly declining for many years, older men and women of every race continue to die by suicide, and the need for prevention is urgent. This webinar reviews the research associated with suicide among older adults, including risk and protective factors and effective suicide prevention strategies. In addition, this webinar will specifically address the issue of suicide risk and prevention in the context of community programs and residential facilities.
Participants will be able to:
- Describe the scope of the problem, including risk and protective factors related to suicide among older adults
- Summarize research findings regarding effective suicide prevention strategies for this population.
- Report the key findings from focus groups and interviews with senior living center staff regarding their knowledge, attitudes and practices related to mental health promotion and suicide prevention.
- Access a new toolkit funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration titled “Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Suicide in Senior Living Communities.”
Yeates Conwell, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair in the Department of Psychiatry, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He received his medical training at the University of Cincinnati, and completed his Psychiatry Residency and a Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to teaching and clinical care, Dr. Conwell directs a multi-disciplinary program of research in suicidal prevention, with a special emphasis on later life. He is a consultant to suicide prevention efforts in the United States, Europe, and China, and serves as a member of the Steering Committee of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
Ms. Miara is a Senior Project Director at the Education Development Center, Inc., with many years experience planning, implementing, and evaluating government-funded programs to prevent injuries, violence, and suicide. She is director of training and administration at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. In collaboration with the National Association of Mental Health Program Directors and with funding from SAMHSA, Ms Miara also played a key role in the development of “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention: A Toolkit for Senior Living Communities.” She directed EDC’s efforts to use the results of an environmental scan and formative research to create a guide and training manual for the toolkit.
Rosalyn (Roz) Blogier graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Social Work from Simmons College, Boston MA where her studies were funded by a two-year NIMH grant in Community Mental Health Services to the Cambridge/Somerville, MA Mental Health Catchment area. Upon graduation, she briefly worked in child protective services and then was employed as an out-patient mental health therapist for a number of years in a variety of settings and locations. She worked in a community health center on the mental health unit, served in the department of psychiatry for a large urban health maintenance organization and maintained a private practice. Additionally, she served as the family program director on an inpatient drug and alcoholism treatment unit. She has engaged in treatment with individuals, couples and groups as well as creating psycho-educational programs in the areas of stress management, addiction, eating disorders and women’s issues. Roz moved with her family to The Netherlands for seven-and-a-half years, where she had a private practice that included running groups for parents with challenging children and completing home studies for expatriates adopting children domestically and internationally. She continued working in the field of adoption upon her return to the Washington, DC area before becoming a Public Health Advisor with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2008.