Suicide & Adults 60 and Older

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Suicide Prevention: Benjamin's Story



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Suicide Prevention: Benjamin's Story

Having Suicidal Thoughts? Let's talk about it.

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Everyone has bad days and growing older can come with difficult challenges. These challenges could lead to feelings of sadness or shame or lead to other warning signs (see below). If these feelings disrupt your life or go on for too long, it might be a sign that there is a bigger problem. This is especially true for older adults, who can be at higher risk of suicide.​

Sad looking elderly woman - Suicide warning signs promo


Feeling depressed is not the only sign that something is wrong. There may be other issues that show you need help. These include:

Changes in how you feel physically:

  • Trouble coping with physical changes, such as sleep, energy level or appetite changes.
  • Unbearable chronic pain.

Changes in how you think:

  • Thinking life is not worth living, thinking about hurting yourself or having suicidal thoughts.
  • Thinking others are better off without you.

Changes in how you feel emotionally:

  • Feeling isolated from others who understand you.
  • Feeling like a burden to others.
  • Feeling abandoned or betrayed.
  • Feeling ashamed of who you are.
  • Feeling hopeless, desperate or trapped.
  • Having no sense of purpose.
  • Having sudden mood changes.

Changes in how you act:

  • Giving away prized possessions.
  • Doing careless things that put you in danger.
  • Putting affairs in order.
  • Increasing drug or alcohol use.
  • Withdrawing and spending most of your time alone.

Stress in your life:

  • Financial stress.
  • Chronic or terminal illness.
  • Death or suicide of a loved one.
  • Conflict with your family or community support system.
  • Exposure to trauma, such as abuse or bullying.
  • Being treated unfairly because of who you are.
  • Not having others who understand you.
  • Failure to meet expectations.
  • Trouble adjusting to a new culture.
Depressed older man with counselor


Talk with your doctor

Talk to your doctor or any other health care professional such as a nurse, therapist or counselor. Do not be afraid to tell them what you are feeling and let them know what has changed. They can help pinpoint problems and discuss treatment options.

Speak with someone you know and trust

Friends and family members may have noticed a change that you cannot see. Share your feelings and listen to what they have to say. Spiritual advisors can also be a good place to start.

Ask for support

If you belong to a senior center or participate in other community-based programs, talk to a staff member or volunteer about support or resources.

Get help in your area

Contact one of the mental health and suicide prevention services listed below to speak with an experienced professional. Asking for help is a sign of strength.

Doctor is having a talk with an elderly patient



Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis Hotline
Dial 9-8-8
Trained volunteer counselors available 24/7
Free and confidential

Crisis Text Line Number
Text RENEW to 741741
Trained volunteer counselors available by text message 24/7
Free and confidential

Veterans’ Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255; press 1
1-800-799-4889, for deaf and hard of hearing
Text any message to 838255
Connect with qualified, caring VA responders 24/7
Free and confidential

LGBT National Senior Hotline
Monday- Friday 1pm to 9pm, Saturday 9am to 2pm
Telephone peer support, information and local resources.

SAGE National LGBT Elder Hotline
1-877-360-LGBT (5428)
24 hours, 7 days a week
You can request to speak with someone in English or Spanish. Talk with friendly responders who are ready to listen. If you are an LGBT elder or care for one, call the free SAGE Hotline.​

The Friendship Line – Institute on Aging 
Free, 24-hour accredited crisis intervention hotline and a warmline for non-emergency emotional support calls.


Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Call Center
For more information about all Santa Clara County behavioral health programs, or to see if you qualify.

Speak with a Health Insurance Counselor for details about your Medicare choices. Counseling sessions are free.

Mental Health Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic
987 Enborg Court, San Jose
Open every day from 8am to 10pm
The clinic provides screening, assessment, crisis intervention, referral and short-term treatment to adolescents and adults experiencing a behavioral health crisis and need immediate help, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

Mobile Crisis Response Team
Dial 9-8-8
Open 24-hours, 7 days a week
Speak with a clinician to who can screen and assess mental health or suicide crisis situations over the phone and intervene wherever the crisis is occurring.

911 Emergency Services
If calling 911 for a mental health-related emergency, request a police officer with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training.


National Alliance on Mental Illness
1150 South Bascom Ave., Suite 24 San Jose, CA
The nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Make the Connection
Online resource for veterans to hear stories of recovery and access resources.

Santa Clara County Survivors of Suicide (SOS) Support Group
871 Enborg Court, San Jose, CA
Support for those who have lost someone to suicide.

LGBTQ+ Services

LGBTQ Wellness
452 S. 1st Street, San Jose
Access peer-based social, emotional, and mental health support for LGBTQ+ adults in Santa Clara County.

Billy DeFrank Lesbian & Gay Community Center
938 The Alameda, San Jose
Provides community, leadership, advocacy, services and support to the Silicon Valley’s LGBTQ People and their Allies. 

More LGBTQ County resources available at


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