Suicide Prevention Training for Gatekeepers of Older Adults

Date: 2011
(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)

Information

Type:  Program/Practice, Education/Training Program
Organization:  Samaritans of Merrimack Valley, MA
Costs: 

Training is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and is available to qualifying institutions in Massachusetts for no charge. Contact Mary Quinn for more information.

Contact

Mary Quinn, LICSW
Training Coordinator Samaritans
430 North Canal Street
Lawrence, MA 01840
Voice: 978-327-6672
Email: mquinn@fsmv.org

Offered by the Samaritans of Merrimack Valley, MA, a program of Family Service, Inc., the Suicide Prevention Training for Gatekeepers of Older Adults is an eight-hour gatekeeper training program for those who have regular contact with older adults through their personal, professional or volunteer activities.

Suicide Prevention Training for Gatekeepers of Older Adults is organized into the following five sessions:

  1. Overview of aging, mental health, and suicide
  2. Risk and protective factors for suicide; warning signs for suicide; and suicide risk assessment
  3. Working with older adults at risk for suicide
  4. Ongoing care and support of older adults at risk for suicide
  5. Self-care

Suicide Prevention Training for Gatekeepers of Older Adults is provided on site (at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc.) in one eight-hour session or two four-hour sessions. It is designed for between 6 and 20 participants. The training was adapted, with permission, from the Suicide Prevention for Older People Training Manual developed by Centre for Mental Health, South Western Sydney Area Health service, Elderly Suicide Prevention Network and the Hunter Institute of Mental Health in Australia.

Program Objectives

At the end of training, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the difference between issues of normal aging and mental health.
  2. List risk and protective factors, and warning signs for suicide in older adults.
  3. Understand levels of suicide risk.
  4. Engage and intervene with older adults at risk for suicide.
  5. List local services available for older adults who are at risk for suicide.
  6. Provide ongoing care and support for older adults at risk for suicide.

Implementation Essentials

  • Training participants should be provided with a list of local resources relevant to the care of older adults who are at risk for suicide.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 7.1: Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.
Populations:  Adults, Older Adults
Strategies:  Identify and Assist, Gatekeeper Training