There is a pressing public health need to find interventions that reduce suicide risk in later life. Psychiatric and physical illness, functional decline, and social factors place seniors at risk for suicide. Reflecting this body of evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the promotion and strengthening of social connectedness, between and within the individual, family, community, and broader societal levels, as a key strategy for suicide prevention. The Senior Connection, a randomized trial of peer companionship for older adults, is described here, with an emphasis on the most novel features of the study design-grounding in a psychological theory of suicide and intervening at an early stage in the suicide risk trajectory by linking primary care patients with the Aging Services Provider Network.
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