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NH Conference: Middle-Aged Men and Suicide

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November 12, 2008

Concord, NH – Middle-aged men have long thought to be at low risk for suicide, but a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Dr. Steve Korn is Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's medical director for the region. Anthem is doing outreach because of the new concern.

"This was the first time that they had ever seen this sort of spike in that particular age group, and nobody's quite sure why."

While the reasons for the rising number of suicides aren't clear, Dr. Korn says it is clear that men, their friends, and families need to know it's happening, and learn about what treatment is available for mental illnesses.

He notes that extensive research has been done on how to best reach younger, and older, people at risk for suicide. Reaching middle-aged men will require a different strategy, according to Dr. Korn.

"The emphasis for men this age will be their primary care doctors. They're probably only seeing health care professionals for their annual checkups."

Anthem has produced a DVD about men and depression, which is being featured during the conference. The DVD is also available to anyone for free by calling the National Alliance on Mental Illness - New Hampshire at 800-242-6264.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - NH