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Unseen Warriors: Understanding and Managing Suicide Rates Among Men Over 85 in Canada

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Depression and feelings of isolation are two of the significant contributing factors to this high suicide rate.

In the heart of our vibrant nation, Canada, an often overlooked demographic wrestles silently with a growing mental health crisis. They are our grandfathers, our fathers, our uncles, and our friends. They are men over the age of 85, a group that, according to Statistics Canada, has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. It's a startling and heartbreaking reality that calls for understanding, compassion, and actionable strategies for prevention.


Unmasking the Crisis

Depression and feelings of isolation are two of the significant contributing factors to this high suicide rate. The loss of a spouse, medical issues, and loneliness can contribute to feelings of hopelessness. It's crucial to remember that these feelings are not a natural part of aging; they are signs of a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.


Moreover, societal expectations around masculinity can discourage men from seeking help. A culture that equates masculinity with strength and self-reliance can make it difficult for men to express their feelings and reach out when they're struggling.


Bridging the Gap: Strategies for Support

The problem is vast, but there are strategies to reach out to these unseen warriors and provide them with the support they need.


Regular Check-ins

Regular interaction can have a profound effect on an individual's mental well-being. Make a phone call, pay a visit, or write a letter. Small gestures can make a big difference.


Promote Mental Health Services

One of the challenges in preventing suicide in men over 85 is the lack of awareness about available mental health resources. Promoting these services within the community and making them easily accessible can be a significant first step towards prevention.


Encourage Open Conversations

Creating an environment where mental health can be openly discussed is key. Encourage conversations about feelings and mental health without judgment. Provide reassurances that seeking help is a strength, not a weakness.


Support Groups

Support groups can provide a safe space for individuals to share their experiences and feelings. They also offer an opportunity to connect with others who are going through similar experiences.


A Call to Action

The high suicide rate among Canadian men over 85 is a public health issue that demands our attention. We must commit to breaking down the barriers that prevent these individuals from seeking help. It's a collective endeavor, one that requires compassion, understanding, and action.


Remember, if you or someone you know is in crisis, reach out to a mental health professional. It's never too late to ask for help.


As a society, we must stand together to support our unseen warriors, reminding them that they are not alone in their battle. In doing so, we can hope to see a decrease in suicide rates among men over 85, ensuring they receive the care and attention they so rightly deserve.


Suicide hotlines in Canada provide immediate support and resources to individuals who may be in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Crisis Services Canada:

  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) Phone: 1-833-456-4566 (available 24/7)

  • Text: 45645 (available from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM ET)

  • Website: https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/

Kids Help Phone (for young people):

  • Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (available 24/7)

  • Text: CONNECT to 686868 (available 24/7)

  • Website: https://kidshelpphone.ca/

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line (for Indigenous peoples):

  • Phone: 1-855-242-3310 (available 24/7)

  • Chat: https://www.hopeforwellness.ca/ (available 24/7)


In addition to these national hotlines, many provinces and local communities also have their own crisis lines and mental health resources. If you or someone you know is in crisis, don't hesitate to reach out for help.

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Unseen Warriors: Understanding and Managing Suicide Rates Among Men Over 85 in Canada

Updated: Sep 1, 2023


Depression and feelings of isolation are two of the significant contributing factors to this high suicide rate.

In the heart of our vibrant nation, Canada, an often overlooked demographic wrestles silently with a growing mental health crisis. They are our grandfathers, our fathers, our uncles, and our friends. They are men over the age of 85, a group that, according to Statistics Canada, has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. It's a startling and heartbreaking reality that calls for understanding, compassion, and actionable strategies for prevention.


Unmasking the Crisis

Depression and feelings of isolation are two of the significant contributing factors to this high suicide rate. The loss of a spouse, medical issues, and loneliness can contribute to feelings of hopelessness. It's crucial to remember that these feelings are not a natural part of aging; they are signs of a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.


Moreover, societal expectations around masculinity can discourage men from seeking help. A culture that equates masculinity with strength and self-reliance can make it difficult for men to express their feelings and reach out when they're struggling.


Bridging the Gap: Strategies for Support

The problem is vast, but there are strategies to reach out to these unseen warriors and provide them with the support they need.


Regular Check-ins

Regular interaction can have a profound effect on an individual's mental well-being. Make a phone call, pay a visit, or write a letter. Small gestures can make a big difference.


Promote Mental Health Services

One of the challenges in preventing suicide in men over 85 is the lack of awareness about available mental health resources. Promoting these services within the community and making them easily accessible can be a significant first step towards prevention.


Encourage Open Conversations

Creating an environment where mental health can be openly discussed is key. Encourage conversations about feelings and mental health without judgment. Provide reassurances that seeking help is a strength, not a weakness.


Support Groups

Support groups can provide a safe space for individuals to share their experiences and feelings. They also offer an opportunity to connect with others who are going through similar experiences.


A Call to Action

The high suicide rate among Canadian men over 85 is a public health issue that demands our attention. We must commit to breaking down the barriers that prevent these individuals from seeking help. It's a collective endeavor, one that requires compassion, understanding, and action.


Remember, if you or someone you know is in crisis, reach out to a mental health professional. It's never too late to ask for help.


As a society, we must stand together to support our unseen warriors, reminding them that they are not alone in their battle. In doing so, we can hope to see a decrease in suicide rates among men over 85, ensuring they receive the care and attention they so rightly deserve.


Suicide hotlines in Canada provide immediate support and resources to individuals who may be in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Crisis Services Canada:

  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) Phone: 1-833-456-4566 (available 24/7)

  • Text: 45645 (available from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM ET)

  • Website: https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/

Kids Help Phone (for young people):

  • Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (available 24/7)

  • Text: CONNECT to 686868 (available 24/7)

  • Website: https://kidshelpphone.ca/

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line (for Indigenous peoples):

  • Phone: 1-855-242-3310 (available 24/7)

  • Chat: https://www.hopeforwellness.ca/ (available 24/7)


In addition to these national hotlines, many provinces and local communities also have their own crisis lines and mental health resources. If you or someone you know is in crisis, don't hesitate to reach out for help.

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