Year: 2000 Source: Omega, v.42, no.1, (2000-2001), p.9-20 SIEC No: 20010502

From a public health perspective, late life suicide is seen primarily as a consequence of untreated mental disorder, particularly depression. However, due to the stigma & ageism surrounding mental disorders in late life, there has been limited public awareness that the elderly have the highest rates of suicide, & that they often have treatable depression prior to their suicide. Late life suicide is slowly gaining attention in both the scientific & public arenas. This article reviews in chronological order a number of efforts that have led to heightened awareness & initial public health policy development of late life suicide prevention strategies. The next steps for National Institute of Health-sponsored research in late life suicide are described. (46 refs.)