Psychosocial Interventions for Suicide Prevention with Older Adults” with Dr. Marnin Heisel, PhD, C.Psych.

October 24, 2016

the University of Toronto’s  Institute for Life Course and Aging is pleased to present 2016-2017 Online Workshop Series



This workshop will be offered only be if there is sufficient enrolment.

When: Monday, November 7th to Sunday, December 4th, 2016 (4 weeks)
ONLINE weekly at your discretion
Cost:  $240 (Students/Seniors $120) Registration Deadline: Monday, Oct. 31st, 2016

Course Objectives:

This 4-week workshop is intended for healthcare professionals and family members of older adults who may be at-risk for suicide. Participants will learn about the scope of the problem of older adult suicide, associated risk and resiliency factors, approaches for identifying individuals who might be at-risk for suicide, a humanistic approach to working with older adults at-risk for suicide, and promising research and clinical and community outreach interventions.

Week one: Suicide among Older Adults: Introduction to a Critical Healthcare Issue
•    Introduction to the topic of Suicide among Older Adults: From sociocultural to clinical considerations
•    The scope of the issue: The impact of suicide among older adults in Canada and Worldwide
•    Mortality statistics: The good, the bad, and the misleading
•    Trends in the demographics of aging, and their impact on suicide mortality and on healthcare needs

Week two: Detecting and Assessing Suicide Risk among Older Adults
•    Introduction to the topic of suicide risk detection among older adults
•    Modes of suicide risk assessment:
·         Clinical interviews
·         Assessment of risk (and resiliency) factors
·         Rating scales/assessment tools
·         Attendance to warning signs
•    Conducting a more comprehensive assessment, attending to both risk and resiliency processes

Week three: Intervening to Decrease Risk for Suicide 
•    Introduction to the topic of suicide prevention: “Levels and populations”
•    Overview of empirical findings of suicide prevention research with older adults
•    How do I work sensitively with older adults at-risk for suicide?
•    The need for vigilance, teamwork, documentation, and self-care

Week four: Putting it All Together
•    Working through a few case examples
•    What promising research is on the horizon?
•    Moving beyond the clinic: Community outreach and support

Instructor: Dr. Marnin J. Heisel, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Marnin is an Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Western University in London, Ontario, a Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute, adjunct faculty member with the University of Rochester Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide in New York State, and a Clinical Psychologist. His research focuses on enhancing psychological resiliency and well-being and working to prevent suicide among older adults. To date, this program of research has contributed a novel measure of suicide ideation among older adults (the Geriatric Suicide Ideation Scale or GSIS), investigated the combined role of positive (e.g., Meaning in Life) and negative psychological factors (e.g., depression or hopelessness) in either increasing or decreasing risk for suicide, developed/modified and tested psychological interventions for older adults potentially at-risk for suicide, and evaluated knowledge gain and attitude change associated with participating in training workshops on older adult suicide prevention.

Registration and payment available online at