Year: 2013 Source: Crisis.(2013).34(4):262-72. DOI:10.1027/0227-5910/a000189 SIEC No: 20130805

Suicide in older people is a significant public health issue with a predicted future increase. Contemporary research directs considerable attention toward physical, mental, and social risk factors that contribute to suicidality in older people; still, little is understood about the fundamental meanings that older people in suicidal crisis attribute to these factors. Aims: The aim of this qualitative study was to describe, analyze, and compare counselors’ and older peoples’ perceptions of the suicidal crisis during an emergency telephone conversation.An explicit focus on risk factors alone may preclude counselors from gaining a deeper understanding of suicidal crisis in an older person’s life. This research has begun to capture and illuminate how telephone counselors can deliver effective crisis intervention as older people struggle and make meaning through their suffering.