Why Suicide Keeps Rising for Middle-Aged Men

November 04, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

U.S. News & World Report

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), middle-aged men account for a disproportionate share of the suicide deaths in the U.S. CDC Division of Violence Prevention Surveillance Branch Chief Alex Crosby said that rates among males are “about four times higher” than among females, which may be explained in part by their greater use of firearms. Other factors that may place middle-aged men at increased risk include untreated mental illness, financial stress, and a reluctance to seek help. A recent CDC report found that industries with the highest suicide rates include farming, fishing, and forestry; and construction and extraction. “We need to, in our workplaces in particular, do much more to engage in conversations and make it OK to talk about suicide,” said Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE). “So that when these situations come up for men [at work] that they are OK saying, ‘Something is wrong. I need help.'” SAVE is creating a workplace certification program in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Said Reidenberg, “If we can get employees to understand that there is treatment, there’s hope, there’s recovery and they don’t have to live like this forever—there’s a really good opportunity to prevent a tragedy.”

Spark Extra! Check out SPRC’s new report, Preventing Suicide among Men in the Middle Years.