Elderly at highest risk for suicide

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The elderly are the highest risk population in the country for suicide. But few suicide-prevention programs target them. Advocates say that's because of scarce funding and lack of concern for older Americans.

Mental heath experts say the number of elderly suicides is likely to climb as baby boomers enter their twilight years.

The overall U.S. suicide rate is 11 per 100,000 people. But for those 65 and older, that figure rises to 14 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Older adults are less likely to seek help and are more lethal in their suicide attempts. So experts say special care is needed to reach out.

Some advocates and mental health workers say they also have to battle a prevailing notion that depression is a normal part of aging.

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