Deadly Stigma: Robin Williams' Suicide Exposes Silent Epidemic

August 13, 2014 10:05 AM

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Deadly Stigma: Robin Williams' Suicide Exposes Silent Epidemic

Williams, whose bright life was emblematic of the Baby Boomers, is leading them still in death. The suicide rate among Americans 45 to 64 has jumped more than 30 percent in the last decade, according to the CDC, and it’s possible to slice the data more finely than that. Among white, upper-middle-aged men, the rate has jumped by more than 50 percent, according to the public data. If these men were to create a breakaway territory, it would have the highest suicide rate in the world.

“We absolutely have to start focusing attention on the middle aged,” said Julie Phillips, a sociologist at Rutgers and among the first researchers to notice the rise in Boomer suicides. In a paper she presented last year, she argued that Boomers are “the tip of the iceberg.” They have the highest su...

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