Understanding and Preventing Suicide in Older Adults

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Older adults comprise more than 16% of the population, but approximately 18% of suicides. This session discusses risk factors for suicide in older adults, how it varies across gender and racial/ethnic subgroups, and interventions that can help to prevent suicide.

Eligible for 1 CEU with live participation

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1) Understand the scope and prevalence of suicide in older adults.

2) Recognize the factors that place older adults at an increased risk for suicide. 

3) Describe evidence-based approaches to suicide prevention and identify resources, such as the nation’s new 988 crisis hotline, to assist older adults. 

Yeates Conwell, M.D.

Professor and Vice Chair

University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry

Yeates Conwell, M.D. is Professor and Vice Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. A geriatric psychiatrist, he is academic co-chief of the Division of Geriatric Mental Health and Memory Care, co-director of the University’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, and a member of the University of Rochester Aging Institute Executive Committee. Dr. Conwell 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 mentoring internationally, clinical care, and service system development, Dr. Conwell directs an inter-disciplinary program of research in aging, mental health services, and suicide prevention. 

Mary Chase Mize, PhD, APC, NCC

Postdoctoral Researcher

Georgia State University

Mary Chase Mize, PhD, APC, NCC, is a postdoctoral research associate at Georgia State University and co-primary investigator of "Equipping the aging network to address social isolation, loneliness, and elevated suicidality among vulnerable older adults during COVID-19 and beyond: A partially nested randomized control trial of the BE WITH Innovation" funded by ACL. Dr. Mize completed her dissertation under the direction of Dr. Laura Shannonhouse, who currently leads the BE WITH project. Dr. Mize is an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) trainer, and serves as assistant director of the HOPE Lab at GSU. Dr. Mize is also a part-time mental health clinician with Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta, where she works with older adults and individuals who have experienced grief and ongoing struggles with suicide. Her research interests include community-based suicide prevention and intervention efforts within the aging services network, as well as preparing professional counselors to work with older clients.

Jeffrey Shultz

Suicide Awareness Advocate

Jeffrey Shultz volunteers to promote mental health wellness and suicide awareness. After Gettysburg College, he worked in both automotive and pharmaceutical sales, and as VP of Sales for a successful start-up nutraceuticals company. In 2012, his son died by suicide. Jeff has lived through the trauma of his son's death and his own depression and suicidal ideation. 

With a career in sales/sales management, plus 40 years as a youth leader/teacher/mentor in church & civic organizations, he now serves NAMI Kent and Queen Anne's along with AFSP Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula. Jeff's roles include speaker, family group facilitator, social media and publicity & outreach chair, and Out of the Darkness Walk chair. 

Richard McKeon, Ph.D. (Moderator)

Chief, Suicide Prevention Branch, Center for Mental Health Services



Understanding and Preventing Suicide in Older Adults
05/16/2022 at 12:45 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 05/18/2022
05/16/2022 at 12:45 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 05/18/2022