Baby Boomer Suicide Rates on the Rise - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Baby Boomer Suicide Rates on the Rise

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Carl Davis, 54, of Salisbury, spoke to WBOC about the pressures many men in his age group experience. (Photo: WBOC) Carl Davis, 54, of Salisbury, spoke to WBOC about the pressures many men in his age group experience. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- The suicide rate for middle-aged men has soared, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fifty-four-year old Carl Davis of Salisbury enjoys spending time with his two young kids.  As a baby boomer, he says he can relate to the pressures his age group is going through. He said, "The main stress factor are your looking forward to retirement, so we are all worried about being able to pay the bills and taking care of kids and family."

Members of this age group often find themselves taking care of not only their family, but their aging parents as well.  Peggie Bradford is the executive director of the MAC Agency for Aging, which helps people 50 and older.  She said baby boomers have looked forward to retirement their entire life "and then a few years ago the economy just fell.  The bottom dropped out. Many people had their life savings wipe out and all of a sudden the promise of those golden years was gone."

According to the CDC, the main triggers of the spike in suicide for middle-aged men are the economy and the availability of prescription drugs. Davis has a stable job and is not fearful that the economy will hurt him.  However, he has seen it affect his friends.  

"I have some friends who have lost quite a bit of their retirement because of economical situations, so it kind of starts to make some sense," he said.

Counselors say that many times suicide is a problem that impacts teenagers and the elderly.  Now the CDC says baby boomers should be added to the list.  The MAC program will address this issue later this year. It is planning a suicide conference for November in Wicomico County.

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