Boomer suicide rate on the rise – generational norms may play a part

Posted On June 25, 2013

The Washington Post published an interesting – and alarming – story about the increase in suicide attempts among the Baby Boomer generation. According to the article, some of this increase follows a natural trend toward suicide among older individuals, however the actual rate of suicide has also increased – in some cases by as much as 50 percent – between 1999 and 2010.

The article goes on to speculate on some of the generational norms that may contribute to this increase. Interestingly, these are the same norms that have shaped how Boomers perform and behave in the workplace. I am not at all speculating that Boomer work ethics and suicide go hand-in-hand – although the article does reference the impact of unemployment and financial distress on those who have had their identities closely tied to their careers and role as providers. No, what stands out to me in this report is how globally influential generational norms can be.

My work focuses on how these norms are changing the workplace, but they are also changing the fabric of society. Always have, always will. Let’s hope the focus of important support resources can help shift this unfortunate effect for the Boomer generation.

Categories: Baby Boomers, Training Industry