The Stop Male Suicide in Older Men project aims to give locals the tools that could save older men's lives

How can we stop suicide in older men?

One in five men who die of suicide in Australia are aged 60 and over, but a new local project aims to help people take action to prevent suicide in older men.

The Stop Male Suicide in Older Men project aims to give local people in the Hunter, New England and Central Coast region, the tools they need to start conversations that could save older men's lives.

Glen Poole of Stop Male Suicide in Older Men said suicide kills nine people in a day on average and seven of these suicides will be male.

"Men over 60 can be at increased risk for a number of reasons, which include declining physical health, social isolation, bereavement, financial hardship, loss of purpose and mental health issues," he said.

"We want to hear from people who come into contact with older men in their workplaces and communities and find ways we can help them to take action to prevent suicide in older men.

"We're currently running an online survey and invite everyone who cares about reducing the risk of suicide in older men to visit our website and take part," Mr Poole said.

According to the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), suicide kills 10 men aged 60 and over every week.

Men over 85 have the highest rate of suicide of any age group (32.3 deaths per 100,000 population,) according to official ABS data for 2019.

To help tackle this problem, Stop Male Suicide in Older Men will be hosting an online conference for professionals and volunteers working with older men on Friday, April 23.

The initiative will also be delivering free training workshops on male suicide prevention for community members with Newcastle, Cessnock, Gosford, alongside an online training day for those unable to attend these events in person.

The Stop Male Suicide in Older Men project is funded by Hunter, New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network. Anyone who wants to find out more or get involved in the Stop Male Suicide in Older Men project can email: stop@stopmalesuicide.com or visit the website: www.oldermalesuicide.com

This story How can we stop suicide in older men? first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.