Late Life Suicide Prevention Toolkit


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health

All program materials are viewable (in the case of the DVD) or downloadable, at no charge, from

A hard copy of the complete toolkit is available for a small charge. Visit for more information.


Created by the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health (CCSMH), the Late Life Suicide Prevention Toolkit is an educational program developed for use by front-line providers, medical and mental health care clinicians, and health care trainees. It focuses on how to identify suicide warning signs, establish rapport and assess suicide risk and resiliency factors, and manage immediate and ongoing risk for suicide among older adults. The Toolkit contains:

  1. Suicide Assessment & Prevention for Older Adults: Life Saving Tools for Health Care Providers DVD
  2. PowerPoint presentation (57 slides)
  3. Facilitator’s Guide (19 pages)
  4. Suicide Assessment & Prevention for Older Adults clinician pocket card
  5. CCSMH National Guidelines for Seniors’ Mental Health: The Assessment of Suicide Risk and Prevention of Suicide

The toolkit is based on CCSMH’s National Guidelines on the Assessment of Suicide Risk and Prevention of Suicide in Older Adults (Canada’s first ever interdisciplinary, evidence-based guideline on the topic). Focus groups with health care providers, educators, family members, and older adults provided input on the core elements of the toolkit. CCSMH staff led a volunteer committee of clinicians, researchers and academics, community agencies/organizations, and family and advocacy groups to create a knowledge translation tool based on the original evidence-based guideline for the assessment of risk and prevention of suicide in older adults.

Program Objectives

Those who participate in the Toolkit’s training program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the epidemiology of late life suicide.
  2. List risk and protective factors for suicide.
  3. Identify suicide warning signs.
  4. Initiate conversations about depression and suicide risk using key questions to assess for suicide risk.
  5. Describe late life suicide risk assessment and clinical intervention strategies.
  6. Integrate components of the Toolkit into clinical care.

Implementation Essentials

  • The toolkit contains multiple components, which work best when used in concert.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 7.2: Provide training to mental health and substance abuse providers on the recognition, assessment, and management of at-risk behavior, and the delivery of effective clinical care for people with suicide risk.