National Guidelines for Seniors' Mental Health: The Assessment of Suicide Risk and Prevention of Suicide
Background of Issue:
In 2002, 430 Canadians 65 years of age or older (361 men and 69 women) died as a result of "intentional self-harm" (Statistics Canada, 2002). Older men are at especially high risk for suicide. The 1997 suicide rate for older Canadian men was nearly twice that of the national as a whole (Statistics Canada, 2005). It is widely believed that published suicide rates underestimate the total number of deaths by suicide, due, in part, to the stigma of suicide and other social pressures that may lead family members and health professionals to avoid labeling deaths as suicides. Approximately 1,000 older adults are admitted to Canadian hospitals each year as a consequence of intentional self-harm, but it is not known how often older people in Canada harm themselves without being admitted to hospital. As the older population increases over the coming decades in Canada (Statistics Canada, 1999), there will likely be a greater number of older lives lost to suicide.
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Learn more about how the Assessment of Suicide Risk and Prevention of Suicide guideline is being implemented throughout Canada in a variety of innovative pilot projects.
The Suicide Risk and Prevention Guideline Development Group included the following members:
|Dr. Adrian Grek||Co-Lead||Psychiatry|
|Dr. Marnin Heisel||Co-Lead||Psychology|
|Dr. Sharon Moore||Co-Lead||Nursing|
|Fae Jackson||Group Member||Nursing|
|Gayle Vincent||Group Member||Research|
|Dr. Barry Hall||Consultant||Social Work|
|Dr. Paul Links||Consultant||Psychiatry|
|Nona Moscovitz||Consultant||Social Work|