The driving factors behind suicide in older men are wide ranging and often complex, though core factors largely fall into the following categories:

Living with illness (physical and mental)

Loss of connections, relationships and people

Financial limitations

Loss of independence / autonomy / dignity

Loss of privilege

Stoic, generational and cultural beliefs that prevent help seeking.

These factors are compounded by under-diagnosis or failure to recognise symptoms of depression and anxiety as “normal, elderly behaviour”. These symptoms may include eating problems, sleeping trouble, shyness, timidity, frustration, hypochondriasis, seclusiveness, etc.

The above symptoms may set also contribute to a negative spiral of self-isolation, further compounding the issues and limiting support channels.

Connectedness and support networks are key in fostering positive mental health and reducing the rate of suicide.