Rise in suicides among seniors causes concern

Counsellors and social workers say that social isolation, changing family structures and a reluctance to seek help are contributing to the increased number of elderly people committing suicide.
Counsellors and social workers say that social isolation, changing family structures and a reluctance to seek help are contributing to the increased number of elderly people committing suicide. PHOTO: ST FILE

A record number of suicides among those aged 60 and above last year is raising concern among social workers.

An analysis of suicide statistics by the Samaritans of Singapore showed that while the total number of suicides in general dropped to its lowest levels since 2011, suicides among the elderly have increased.

Last year, such suicides made up 35.7 per cent of all suicides, a seven percentage point jump over the year before.

Counsellors and social workers say that social isolation, changing family structures and a reluctance to seek help may be contributing to the problem.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2018, with the headline 'Rise in suicides among seniors causes concern'. Print Edition | Subscribe