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Home » Webinar: Social disconnection and late-life suicide: Mechanisms, treatment targets, and interventions

Webinar: Social disconnection and late-life suicide: Mechanisms, treatment targets, and interventions

About the Workshop:

On September 17 and 18, 2020, join the NIMH Division of Translational Research for a two-day virtual workshop, “Social Disconnection and Late Life Suicide,” which will bring together clinician scientists, behavioral scientists, neuroscientists, geriatric psychiatrists, epidemiologists, and implementation scientists to discuss the current state of the science on social disconnection and suicide. Workshop topics include:

  • the mechanisms by which social disconnection confers risk for suicide in older adulthood,
  • potential treatment targets for future intervention development, and
  • opportunities for and obstacles to effective implementation of interventions to address and prevent late-life suicide.


Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. In late adulthood, suicide rates are higher than in any other age group and have risen more than 40% in the past 10 years.  Social disconnection – a term which refers to either objective social isolation, perceived social isolation (otherwise known as loneliness), or the co-presence of both – is one of the primary risk factors for a suicidal attempt.  It is at its highest levels in late adulthood and is one of the primary motivators of self-harm in older adults. As the American population rapidly ages – over 20% of the population will be over the age of 65 by 2030 – there is an urgent need to advance mechanistic understanding of the link between social disconnection and suicide risk, to identify treatment targets for promising interventions to address social disconnection and suicide in late-life, and to elucidate barriers to and achievements in implementing interventions and providing services to socially disconnected older adults contemplating suicide. 

Date and Time: 
September 17, 2020 - 10:00am to September 18, 2020 - 4:00pm