Suicide rate highest among senior men: ABS

If you know a man aged over 85 - give him a call and ask, "are you okay?"

Because if he's in that age bracket, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) claims he's at most risk of committing suicide.

The ABS 2015 data shows that men aged 85 and over older was 39.3 per 100,000 people - more than double of male teenagers (11.8).

Women of the same age recorded 5.7.

The highest suicide rate amongst women - 10.4 deaths per 100,000 people - was the age group of 45-49.

Monash University Professor Paul Komesaroff believes a reason for the high suicide rate amongst the older generation may be a sense of becoming a burden on society.

"They may well express to their doctor the view that they don't want care to be prolonged," Professor Komesaroff told the ABC.

"Not because they fear losing their capabilities or their capacities, but because they don't want to impose on the rest of society, it's their sense of responsibility.

"And of course that's a terrible tragedy because these are the people who have actually created the wealth."

Getting on the phone today to talk to an old mate or elderly neighbour is a wise idea. Ask them if they are okay, listen to what they tell you and help them to find support for their concerns.

If anyone you know needs help, please contact one of the following organisations.

Lifeline - 13 11 14

beyondblue -1300 22 46 36

MensLine - 1300 78 99 78

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