It’s Not Just Chris Cornell: Suicide Rates Highest among Middle-Aged Men

May 26, 2017

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

NBC News

White men between the ages of 45 and 65 account for a disproportionate share of the country’s suicide deaths. According to experts, men are often reluctant to seek help or access health care unless prompted by family members. American Association of Suicidology President and University of Kentucky School of Social Work professor Julie Cerel said, “[A]s people are aging and at a place in their lives where the world isn’t looking the way they want, men especially don’t know how to reach out and get help or express that they’re feeling pain.” In addition, some medical professionals are not trained in suicide risk assessment and may not ask their patients about self-harm. As a result, loved ones may be best positioned to spot the warning signs for suicide among at-risk men. Said Cerel, “It becomes the job of people who care about these men to say, ‘Hey I care about you, how can I help, how can we work this out?'” Programs such as the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Mental Health First Aid train non-clinicians how to identify and assist those in crisis. Other efforts to prevent suicide among middle-aged men include online resources such as Man Therapy and a national awareness campaign targeting the firearms community.

Spark Extra! Read SPRC’s report on preventing suicide among middle-aged men.