Saturday, September 18, 2010
Suicide Prevention and Older Adults (Video 3:10)
Older adults kill themselves intentionally over 50% more than young people do in America. Each year more than 6,300 older adults take their own lives. Unfortunately, suicide among the elderly continues to lack the intense prevention and research focus that it should receive.
Older white men have been particularly at-risk for suicide for the past half century. They are eight times more likely to kill themselves than are women of the same age group. They have almost twice the rate of all other groups of elderly men. This situation continues to escalate with the increase of millions of baby boomers (born 1946-1964) reaching senior status. The continued rise in elderly male suicides has the potential for creating a national crisis in geriatric mental health if more prevention strategies are not used.
“Suicide of the Elderly” is a video that gives helpful information regarding warning signs that can alert us to the possibility of an older adult committing suicide. WE can help prevent suicides by looking for these clues and responding proactively with support from people and organizations that can help. The National Hopeline Network can be called at 1-800-SUICIDE.
Frances Shani Parker, Author