ACT

Help for Older Adults Thinking of Suicide

Our community cares and wants to make help available to any older adult who might be thinking of ending his/her life. The following information will assist families and friends concerned about an older adult's safety and wellbeing

If You or Someone You Know is Thinking about Suicide

Call 911 or Riverside Mental Health Center's response line (781) 769 8674 
Immediately! There will be someone there to listen and help you

Acknowledge - Care - Tell (ACT)®

Acknowledging - Talking with someone is the first step:    

If you are an older adult thinking about ending your life, please let someone know how you are feeling. Speak to a friend, medical provider, clergy or family member, social worker or anyone with whom you feel comfortable.  People care and will feel relieved, not burdened, that you have confided in them.  You can start by saying something like, "I want you to know that I have been so unhappy that I have been thinking about ending my life."

If you are a friend or family member who is worried about an older adult, talk to him/her about your concern.  One out of every four older adults who attempt suicide in the United States completes it compared to one out of twenty-five in all other age groups.  In fact, in Massachusetts, older adults, especially older males, have the highest rate of suicide of any age group. To help, acknowledge that you believe the person has been thinking about ending his/her life and tell him/her what you have observed. Ask him/her in a non-judgmental manner to tell you what he/she is thinking. You could start the conversation by saying something like, "I have observed you withdrawing from all your friends. I am worried about you and want to know if you have been thinking about ending your life."

Caring- Your community, family, and friends care about you:

As an older adult who is unhappy, you may not believe that your family members, friends and community care about you, but they do.  Letting someone know about your thoughts of ending your life is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength that you have the courage to admit you have a problem and want to seek help.

If you are concerned about an older adult who may have expressed (directly or indirectly) his/her distress, pain and/or thoughts of suicide, tell him/her that you care and there is help. Reassure him/her that he/she is not alone and can feel better.

Telling- Getting help means telling professionals help is needed:

As an older adult you may not feel you know who to tell about your thoughts of suicide. You can tell your family, a friend, your clergy, a caregiver or your medical provider.  They want to help you to feel better and happier about your life. They will get you the professional help that you need.
If you are concerned about an older adult who has told you about or shown signs of suicide, call for help right away.           

For Immediate Help
Call 911 or Riverside Mental Health Center's Response Line (781) 769 8674

If you are not sure what is happening or what to do, call the following for information and support to help you determine the best way to help yourself, your friend or your loved one.

Riverside Emergency Service: 781 769 8674 (anytime)

In Wellesley, you can call the Council on Aging Social Service Staff: 781–235-3961, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

GET HELP NOW

Hurting yourself is NEVER the answer. There is help available…talk to someone now

For immediate help call
9-1-1

Riverside Emergency Services
781-769-8674

Newton Wellesley Hospital
617-243-6000

Samariteen Hotline
1-800-252-TEEN (8336)

Samaritan Helpline
1-877-870-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)