Seniors are susceptible to death by suicide

September is suicide prevention month. Did you know on average more than 1,300 Arizonans die by suicide annually? The majority of these deaths are those age 65 and older, by gun.

An older person is more likely to consider dying by suicide if he or she is dealing with loneliness, financial stress, or physical pain. Depression is not a normal part of aging.

Suicide is preventable. Older adults considering dying by suicide may demonstrate one of the following behaviors:

  • An increase in substance use, especially alcohol
  • A change in sleeping pattern
  • Giving away possessions, including pets
  • Depression and withdrawal from social obligations
  • Discussing dying by suicide

Do you have someone in your life who may be at risk for suicide? The Area Agency on Aging Eldervention program includes a 24-hour senior help line: (602) 264-4357. They also offer in home counseling and other resources for those who may be at risk. For more information, visit: Area Agency on Aging. Find more suicide prevention resources at AHCCCS.

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