A heartbreaking statistic has given Steve pause this week. It seems an unlikely culprit is now claiming the lives of a staggering number of older white men. If nothing changes, this trend will get worse over the next 35 years.
So what is this silent killer, and what can we do to stop it? Steve tells all in this week’s Two-Minute Retirement Solution.
This is a really serious and sad one this week. Get ready.
Every three hours, a white male age 85 or older commits suicide.
In fact, this particular demographic has the highest rate of suicide of all others, including teens, which has traditionally been the highest.
And according to the CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, as the population continues to age, by 2050 (which includes people born up to 1970), the number of suicides in this demographic will increase by 92%.
These older white males have a much higher suicide success rate: 4-to-1 versus 25-to-1 for younger persons.
If this is hard for you to believe, you’re not alone.
These older white men appear to have led successful lives. They have better health and better access to medical care, and are better off financially than most groups, including women of the same age.
But the numbers indicate most of the victims have had undiagnosed depression throughout their lives, usually buried by their work, which is now being exacerbated by loneliness, isolation, hopelessness and serious physical problems.
Across the population as a whole, it’s estimated that one in five people suffer from mental illness and 50% never seek treatment.
The really sad part of this and all depression statistics is that new methodologies and medications make this disease as manageable as diabetes. And the stigmas of the past associated with seeking help for it have all but disappeared.
This person could be your older brother, your father, your grandfather, a friend or just a neighbor who everyone assumes has led a fruitful and full life and is enjoying his leisure years – but he could be in real trouble.
The only way to stop or reduce this horrifying statistic is through intervention and education.
So take the time this week to reach out to any person alone and make sure your friend or relative isn’t lining up to be another number in this late-in-life nightmare.