The Australian has recently reported on the response of healthcare experts to the upcoming COTA NSW parliamentary forum.
The upcoming forum, The suicides we choose to ignore: men 85+
, aims to provoke discussion around an issue of mental health service provision that is rarely addressed - that males aged 85 and over have the nation’s highest suicide rates.
Men in this age group are three times more likely to kill themselves than the national average. And yet this fact is rarely addressed.
A number of sources in the article argue that ageism has an impact on the delivery of mental health care services. Ian Day, CEO of COTA NSW, when contacted by The Australian, noted that ageism has contributed to the rate of suicides we are seeing amongst men 85+.
The article also notes that when statistics about suicide are released media attention tends to focus on youth suicide. The article argues that the under-reporting of older men’s suicide reflects our society’s ageism, and this has dire consequences for older people suffering from mental ill health.
The Parliamentary Forum will take place on Wednesay 26 August and will bring together a range of expert speakers to explore this issue. Speakers include: the Hon. Pru Goward, Minister for Mental Health; Dr Rod McKay, NSW Institute of Psychiatry Mental Health Programs Director and NSW Mental Health Commissioner, John Feneley
Seating for the forum has now been fully allocated.