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Robin Williams' death sheds light on baby boomer suicide

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Robin Williams on July 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The two age groups most likely to commit suicide in the U.S. are aging baby boomers (age 45-64) and the elderly (age 85 or older). And the rate for boomers has been rising for nearly a decade. 

But advocates for the elderly say suicide is rarely talked about. Dr. Patrick Arbore of the Institute on Aging says the death of actor Robin Williams, 63, provides a "narrow window" of time for Americans to learn about suicide among aging men in particular. 

Laura Weber, manager of Minnesota's Crisis Connection Line for Canvas Health, says there has been a 28 percent increase in calls to the national suicide prevention lifeline since the death of Williams.  

On The Daily Circuit, we discuss the rising rates and what advocates for the aging are doing to prevent it.

CHART: Suicide Rates by Age

IF YOU NEED HELP:

• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255 and 800-784-2433
• Crisis Connection Line 612-379-6363
• Crisis Connection-rural Minnesota 866-379-6363
• More Minnesota hotlines 

Have you struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide in your 50s or 60s? Do you have a parent or friend who has been through this? Tell us your stories in the comments below.