They Deserve Better: Preventing Suicide in Skilled Nursing Facilities


  • Caitlyn Allen, MPH Patient Safety Authority



Suicide in skilled nursing facilities—centers that provide around-the-clock treatment and rehabilitation—is a serious issue. Chronic physical ailments often take precedent over mental health issues, which can make it easy to overlook them. Tony Salvatore, director of Suicide Prevention at Montgomery County Emergency Service, provides insight into the problem and how we can better quantify it, and some simple fixes that can have a big impact.

Author Biography

Caitlyn Allen, MPH, Patient Safety Authority

Caitlyn Allen ( is director of Engagement for the Patient Safety Authority and managing editor for Patient Safety, the PSA’s peer-reviewed journal. Before joining the PSA, she was the project manager for Patient Safety at Jefferson Health, where she also was the only nonphysician elected to serve on the House Staff Quality and Safety Leadership Council. Previously, Allen also was a project manager and patient safety officer for Wills Eye Hospital.



Pennsylvania Department of Aging. Older Adult Protective Services 2019–20 Annual Report. Updated February 2021. Accessed August 20, 2021.

Montgomery County Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Suicide Data and Trends. June 28, 2016. Accessed August 20, 2021.

The Joint Commission. Suicide Prevention. TJC website. Accessed August 20, 2021.

Silhouette of two elderly people with the tops of their bodies turning into black birds that are flying away.



How to Cite

Allen, C. (2021). They Deserve Better: Preventing Suicide in Skilled Nursing Facilities. Patient Safety, 3(3), 60–65.
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