July 20, 2007
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada today introduced new legislation that will work toward reducing senior citizen suicide, a particularly vulnerable group.
“The Stop Senior Suicide Act brings awareness to this all too common tragedy,” said Reid. “Regardless of age, anyone can be at risk of suicide. I will continue working to ensure the challenges facing seniors are addressed.”
This legislation is a comprehensive effort to reduce suicide among seniors. Specifically, it would improve the geriatric mental health delivery system, establish grants for senior suicide prevention and early intervention programs, and improve access to outpatient mental health services under Medicare.
Americans aged 65 years and older experience the highest suicide rates in the nation, with the risk increasing as people age. The rate of suicide for those aged 85 years and older is the highest of all. Moreover, older adults who attempt suicide are much more likely than younger people to carry it out to completion. The Stop Senior Suicide Act addresses the unique challenges facing seniors that lead to these tragic outcomes.