As part of the commemoration of the Day of the International Of the Eldest Adult, the president of the Chilean Leadership Foundation (FLICH), Arnaldo Canales, called to promote emotional education throughout the life cycle, in order to avoid the high suicide rates suffered by this age sector.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, about 360 adults take their lives every year. In addition, the suicide rate in adults over 80 rises 15.1% above the national average (10.2%), being one of the highest in Latin America.
«In this sense, Chile today has one of the highest rates in terms of lack of socio-emotional tools, which has led – among other factors – to the number of suicides to increase from 27 cases, in 2018, to 63, last year,» Canales said.
Among the variables that have influenced these negative figures, the president of FLICH explained that «abandonment, loneliness and sadness are 3 of the emotions that less regulate the elderly. In the case of sadness, it is an emotion that works from the world of emotion, invites resentment and self-reflection; and, on the other hand, it can enable the work of resilience and the development of self-esteem.»
«Unfortunately,» he added, «older adults get to a point in their lives where they no longer follow this strategy and therefore states like sadness end up being permanent, with older adults falling into depressive states, those who do not treat them end up taking their lives. In short, an older adult who does not work his emotional education, who does not help or accompany him in this area, is an older adult who is very young to suffer mental health problems.»
In closing, Canales called on the community and entities in charge of caring for those who reach old age, «not to lose sight of the emotional education of the eldest adult and not to lose sight of the importance of this theme throughout the cycle of human formation».