Preventing Suicide In Older Adults

Social distancing is designed to keep us and our community safe. However, social distancing is increasing loneliness for people all over the world – especially in older adults. Older adults who are disconnected from others do have a greater risk for committing suicide. 

However, there are plenty of tools and resources out there that can help us prevent suicide in older adults.

Understand The Risk Factors:

Several studies show that the following factors can contribute to suicide in older adults.

1) Mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression.

2) Being alone for long periods.

3) Pain.

4) Illness.

Warning Signs:

If you think someone you love may be contemplating suicide, here are a handful of warning signs you should look out for.

1) Significant life changes, such as the death of a loved one.

2) Preparing for death. 

3) Isolating from friends and family.

Afraid To Say The Wrong Thing?

Talking about suicide can be scary. So many people are afraid to say the wrong thing, so they don’t say anything at all.

It may be scary, but talking about our feelings can help us better understand them.  If you’re not sure what to say, here are a few questions that can help you get started:

1) How often are you alone?

2) Have you had thoughts about harming yourself?

3) Do you ever feel like just giving up?

If you or someone you love are struggling with thoughts about harming themselves or others, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

You can also text the Crisis Text Line at: 741741

Text Line is free and available 24/7 to support those in crisis anywhere in the U.S. 

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