Aging and Disability Networks Playing a Key Role in Suicide Prevention

By Tom Moran: For Entire Post, Go Here…

According to a recent CDC report, over 40% of U.S. adults report struggles with mental health or substance use. Nearly 11% reported seriously considering suicide over the last 30 days. Those who report that they are unpaid caregivers were more significantly more likely to have mental health problems than non-caregivers. Although anyone can experience a behavioral health condition, like depression, substance abuse, or suicidal ideation, the data tells us that older adults and people with disabilities are disproportionally impacted by these issues and are less likely to receive treatment.

CDC also reports that suicide rates among our nation’s youth have increased 56% since 2007. It is the second leading cause of death amongst individuals age 15 – 24. Data shows that youth with disabilities are four times more likely to think about suicide than their nondisabled peers.

The good news is that there are many resources available that can lead to faster diagnosis and treatment and help prevent social isolation, increased disability, and other problems.

As we observe Suicide Prevention Month in September, I can’t help but reflect on the key role that the aging and disability networks in ensuring those we serve maintain their mental health and stay socially connected. The value these networks provide – their capacity to deliver personalized, impactful, and cost-effective services that meet social determinants of health – is truly unparalleled. And our partnerships with state and community behavioral health providers remain critical for connecting folks with the specialized services they may need to prevent and treat mental health and substance use disorders. Below are some great examples of work across ACL to promote positive mental health and prevent suicide.

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