Suicides are climbing among U.S. Baby Boomers, often touted as the healthiest, longest-living, and most “positive outlook” generation in history. Between 1999 and 2010, the suicide rate for adults ages 50-64 jumped a whopping 45% overall, with the highest increases for men in their 50s (48%) and women 60 to 64 (60%). This according to an AARP analysis of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
What gives? The biggest factor appears to be quite simply money, or the lack of it. Many in a population expected to remain affluent through old age find themselves in a bad and deteriorating financial condition. In addition, a huge slice of the boomer demographic is uncomfortably “sandwiched” between the demands of caring for aging parents and of continuing to support adult children (and grandchildren) who have their own financial problems.
If anything highlights the critical importance of attending continuously to mental health concerns throughout the entire life cycle – not to mention the deepening U.S. crisis of wealth and income inequality – this does.