Improving Resiliency for Older Adults at Risk for Suicide

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The prevalence of suicide among older Vermonters, and the risks of social isolation, chronic pain, and substance use as a growing concern especially during the COVID-19 pandemic with its added stressors will be described in this panel presentation.  The innovative use by Support and Services at Home (SASH) of wellness check-ups for early identification and intervention in behavioral health problems, including suicide risk, will be shared. 

Learn about the approach of care coordinators and wellness nurses who perform screenings, provide education and intervene as necessary with counseling, make referral to specialists, and assist in living well connecting their older adults with peers.


Charles Gurney, LICSW, LADC

Charles Gurney, LICSW, LADC

Charles Gurney is the Substance Use and Aging Specialist for the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, State Unit on Aging, and the Vermont Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Use Programs.
Melissa Southwick

Melissa Southwick

Melissa Southwick is the Assistant Director of the SASH (Support and Services at Home) program. Melissa has dedicated her career to helping older adults age in place.
Casey Doerner

Casey Doerner

Casey is the Health Systems Educator and Wellness Nurse Lead for the SASH program.

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