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Understanding the high rate of suicides among middle-aged baby boomers




According to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, baby boomers between the ages of 45 and 64 are committing suicide at an increasing rate.
According to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, baby boomers between the ages of 45 and 64 are committing suicide at an increasing rate.
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Actor Robin Williams' suicide was a surprise to many. But statistically, it's unfortunately not so much of a shock.

According to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, baby boomers between the ages of 45 and 64 are committing suicide at an increasing rate. From 1999 to 2011, suicide rate for this age group jumped 40 percent.

Julie Phillips, a sociology professor at Rutgers University who has been researching the topic, calls this epidemic a "changing epidemiology of suicide," spurred by a variety of social, cultural and economic factors. But she warns that the boomer generation might just be “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to being burdened by this troubling trend.

What are the factors behind this phenomenon? What can be done to reverse it?

Guest:

Dr. Christine Moutier, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at the American Federation for Suicide Prevention

Patrick Arbore, Founder and Director of the Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention and Grief Related Services at Institute on Aging in San Francisco.

Need help? Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 1-800-273-825