Suicide Risk and Prevention of Suicide

Late Life Suicide Prevention Toolkit: Life Saving Tools for Health Care Providers

According to the WHO, older adults have among the highest rates of suicide worldwide.
The majority of older adults who die by suicide have seen a front-line health care provider in the prior month.

The CCSMH Late Life Suicide Prevention Toolkit: Life Saving Tools for Health Care Providers was developed for health care providers – physicians, nurses, front-line workers, mental health professionals – and educators in health education programs at universities and colleges. The toolkit was developed by experts in the fields of geriatrics and suicide prevention: clinicians, researchers and academics, community agencies/organizations, and family and advocacy groups. Production of this toolkit was made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Betty Havens Award for Knowledge Translation in Aging (CIHR), as well as a donation from the RBC Foundation.

What’s in the CCSMH Late Life Suicide Prevention Toolkit and How do I Get a Copy?

All elements of the Toolkit can be accessed below. In order to get the most educational benefit, we recommend that the various educational tools be viewed together.

Interested in hard copies? Please visit Request Resources for more information.

Interactive, case-based DVD: Suicide Assessment & Prevention for Older Adults: Life Saving Tools for Health Care Providers
The CCSMH is interested in collecting information on the use of the DVD. Kindly provide the information below. You will then be directed to another screen where you can stream the various chapters of the DVD. Your information will be kept confidential, but you may be contacted electronically by the CCSMH for evaluation of the DVD in the future.

Members of The College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim Mainpro-M2 credits for this unaccredited educational program. Members of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada can earn Section 2 credits by viewing this DVD.

CCSMH National Guidelines for Seniors’ Mental Health: The Assessment of Suicide Risk and Prevention of Suicide

(available in French/disponibles en français)

Endorsed by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Canadian Psychological Association and the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry and is listed on the U.S. Suicide Prevention Resource Centre’s Best Practices Registry [pdf].

Clinician pocket-card: Suicide: Assessment & Prevention for Older Adults [1.9 MB pdf]

(available in French/disponibles en français) [2.2 MB pdf]


The Geriatric Suicide Ideation Scale and the Harmful Behaviours Scale mentioned on the clinician pocket-card can be used by health care providers with appropriate training. For more information, please contact:


Dr. Marnin J. Heisel

Address: Department of Psychiatry, London Health Sciences Centre, Room 5054, 375 South Street, London, Ontario, N6A 4G5


Phone: 519-685-8500 ext. 75981

Materials for Educators:



    • Evaluation for learners:




    • Evaluation for facilitators:




The CCSMH has also produced an educational, user-friendly guide about suicide prevention for family members.

Additional Tools: Assessing and Treating Depression


CCSMH National Guidelines for Seniors’ Mental Health: The Assessment and Treatment of Depression

(available in French/disponibles en français)

Clinician pocket-card: Tool on Depression: Assessment and Treatment for Older Adults [1.8 MB pdf]

(disponable en français / available in French)

Laminate: Are my older patients at higher risk of depression? [143 KB pdf]

[updated February, 2015]