For those who interact with seniors in their personal, professional, or volunteer activities, our Elder Suicide Prevention Training for Cape and Islands Communities is an excellent way to develop the skills of active listening and positively engage a senior who may be at risk for suicide.
Developed in 2011 by the Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands, this localized suicide prevention training is designed to reduce the incidence of suicide among adults age 55 and older. The day-long training is open to the public and is appropriate for both lay people and health professionals. Librarians, bus drivers, social workers, care managers, and nursing home administrators have all been among past attendees. And registered nurses, licensed mental health clinicians, and social workers who attend the class will receive seven (7) Continuing Education Credits.
After the class, attendees will identify the warning signs of suicide in older adults; develop strategies for early intervention and prevention; and utilize effective methods for active listening and engagement with older adults who are suicidal. Most importantly, attendees will demonstrate the ability to ask someone if they are suicidal and will identify additional sources of support for those in need in our region.
Based on best practices in Canada and Australia as well as established Cape and Islands Samaritan training models, our Elder Suicide Prevention Training for Cape and Islands Communities is offered periodically throughout the year.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the next training date?
In an effort to provide a safe training environment, we are working toward adapting the training to an online platform. Please continue to check back for further news about upcoming training dates.
Who are the presenters?
Stephanie Kelly, Executive Director of the Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands
After many years serving individuals with developmental disabilities, Stephanie joined the Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands in 2011. Stephanie holds a B.S. in counseling psychology. As a result of her love of working within a group dynamic, she has served as a facilitator for Samaritans Safe Place, A Second Chance, and A Second Chance Families support groups. She has also served as a volunteer trainer and as a presenter at community education and outreach events. Stephanie is a member of the Cape & Islands Suicide Prevention Coalition and serves on the Steering Committee for the CISPC. She is also a member of the MA Coalition for Suicide Prevention and serves on the Executive Committee for the MCSP. In 2018, Stephanie was appointed by Governor Baker to serve as a member of the Special Commission to Study Correctional Officer Suicide Prevention. Stephanie is trained in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) and CALM (Counseling on Access to Lethal Means).
Karen Ellery-Jones, Assistant Director of the Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands
Karen began employment at Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands in 2016 and and has an extensive background in training for both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Karen oversees the Safe Place program for suicide loss survivors as well as the Senior Outreach program which provides caring contact between volunteers and elders participants. In addition, Karen serves as a volunteer trainer and as a presenter at community education and outreach events and a member of the Community Health Network Area 27 (CHNA 27). Karen is a certified Question, Persuade, Prefer (QPR) trainer and is trained in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment), Mental Health First Aid, and CALM (Counseling on Access to Lethal Means).
Is there a fee for the training?
With funding from the Department of Public Health Suicide Prevention Program, we are able to offer the training and CEs free of charge. We only ask that cancellations be received 24 hours in advance.
What is the schedule for the day?
8:45-9:00 am — Registration
9:00-9:40 am — Introduction
9:40-10:45 am — Part I: The Aging Process
10:45-10:50 am — Break
10:50 am-12:30 pm — Part II: Depression in Older Adults
12:30-1:00 pm — Lunch
1:00-2:15 pm — Part III: Suicide in Older Adults
2:15-2:20 pm — Break
2:20-4:45 pm — Part IV: Active Listening and Engagement
4:45-5:00 pm — Training Evaluations, Certificates of Attendance, CEs
What topics or content will we cover? What will our learning objectives be?
Part I: The Aging Process
- Recognize suicidal ideation in seniors
- Life changes
- Myths about aging
- Research and attitudes to aging, mental health, and suicide
- Recognize the signs of suicide in the older adult population
- Identify common changes as we age and analyze attitudes toward aging that may impact ability to detect suicidal ideation
- Identify effective strategies for engagement in working with older people
Part II: Depression in Older Adults
- Mental health problems are not an inevitable part of aging
- Depression in seniors: myth vs. truth
- What’s depression all about?
- Anxiety disorders and depression
- Recognize the difference between issues of normal aging and mental health conditions
- Identify ways depression can manifest in older adults
- Identify how early intervention can greatly reduce a senior’s risk for suicide
Part III: Suicide in Older Adults
- Why do people attempt suicide?
- Warning signs of suicide
- Issues surrounding suicide in older adults
- Key messages about suicide in later life
- Risk factors/protective factors for suicide in older adults
- Suicide assessment process
- Levels of risk and risk management strategies
- Assess the impact of suicide in the US and its role in American Culture
- Identify risk factors, levels of risk, protective factors, and warning signs for suicide in older adults
- Recognize local services that are available for older adults at risk for suicide
Part IV: Active Listening and Engagement
- What do you say?
- How to actively listen
- Helpful hints for active listening
- Helpful listening phrases
- Key questions
- Factors to consider before asking seniors questions about suicide
- Create ease when talking about suicide with others
- Identify effective methods for active listening and engagement with older adults who are suicidal
- Recognize key questions to ask older adults at risk for suicide
Is there a target audience for the training?
This beginner level training is appropriate for both lay people and health professionals.
Are Continuing Education Credits being offered?
Continuing Education Credit is pending through Commonwealth Education Seminars for the following professions:
Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors:
Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LMHCs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Social Workers. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for Social Workers. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
As an American Psychological Association (APA) approved provider, CES programs are accepted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). These courses can be utilized by nurses to renew their certification and will be accepted by the ANCC. Every state Board of Nursing accepts ANCC approved programs except California and Iowa, however CES is also an approved Continuing Education provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider # CEP15567) which is also accepted by the Iowa Board of Nursing.
Note: It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.
Are your trainings held in facilities that are accessible to differently-abled individuals?
Yes. We request that individuals needing special accommodations, please contact Stephanie Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org, 508-548-7999.
What if I have a grievance?
Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands seeks to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Please submit a written grievance to: Stephanie Kelly, email@example.com, 508-548-7999.