Reconsidering the Existing Paradigm for Suicide Prevention among Older Adult Veterans and Other Americans

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A review of findings from research on risk for suicide among older adult veterans by Sullivan and colleagues identified several factors, including diagnosis with posttraumatic stress disorder and social isolation associated with increased risk for self-harm among older adult veterans. While this review will surely raise awareness of characteristics associated with suicide among older Veterans, the assumptions underlying much of the reviewed literature limit utility of these findings. In the following sections we provide a critical review of existing research, identify gaps in previous efforts and suggest ways for research and clinical services to improve on existing services.