Living Reference Work Entry

Mental Health and Illness of the Elderly

Part of the series Mental Health and Illness Worldwide pp 1-36

Date: Latest Version

Elderly Suicide and Suicide Prevention

  • Ajit ShahAffiliated withSchool of Health, University of Central Lancashire Email author 
  • , Sofia Zarate-EscuderoAffiliated withImperial College School of Medicine


With the elderly population rising and suicide rates increasing with age the total number of eldrly suicides will increase. This chapter reviews the literature on the epidemiology and risk factors for elderly suicides and attempted suicides at an individual and population level. Additionally, it also developes theories on pathways to suicide, including the epidemiological transition hypothesis. Finally, the extant literature on prevention of suicide is also reviewed.


Elderly suicide Attempted suicide Suicide prevention