Adolescent and Senior Suicide Mortality Rates
AZ posts a consistently higher rate of suicide for both adolescents and older adults as compared to the U.S. with older adults 65+ posting the highest rates among all ages groups. Arizona is #8 in the nation for older adult death by suicide (Area Agency on Aging, Region 1, 2009), and those over age 65 are the most at-risk age group nationally for suicide. Elderly white men continue to be the most vulnerable population. Mental-health professionals candidly offer opinions and possible reasons why Arizona is ranked so high: it has a large retiree and older-adult population; the state's paltry mental-health system; drug abuse; sizeable military veteran and Native American populations; the transient nature of Arizona; and the availability of firearms. Also isolation, dealing with chronic pain and/or the death of a significant other can all plunge elderly people into depression. Many will not seek mental health treatment due to stigma.