Musician Chris Cornell Dies at 52

Singer’s Death Highlights Disproportionate Suicide Risk for Middle-aged Men


Musician Chris Cornell Dies at 52
Singer’s Death Highlights Disproportionate Suicide Risk for Middle-aged Men

Chris Cornell, Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman, died from suicide today at the age of 52. We urge the press to take note while reporting this story that research shows a disproportionate number of middle-aged men die from suicide.

While the suicide rate is rising consistently across demographic groups, there was a 43% increase in suicide deaths of men aged 45-64 between 1997 and 2014 (CDC, 2016). According to the CDC, 12,107 men from this age group died from suicide in 2015.

"The rates for suicide in men in this age bracket are high. We know men don't often seek mental health or help from loved ones. We encourage people to use the occasion of this sad loss to look out for people close to them, especially men, who might be thinking of suicide,” says Julie Cerel, President of the American Association of Suicidology.

Many of Cornell’s fans fall within this demographic. It is important to recognize warning signs of suicide in those around us. In the case of men in middle age, some of these warning signs might manifest as financial, professional, and relationship difficulties, as well as social isolation and increased substance use.

Firearm owners, in particular, are at higher risk (Siegel & Rothman, 2016). Firearms are the most lethal and frequent means for suicide in men. Strengthening connections and relationships can act as strong supports for men exhibiting these warning signs.

Resources available for support:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line - Text START to 741 741
TREVOR Project - 866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline - 877-565-8860
Man Therapy -

For the Media: Responsible reporting on suicide, including stories of hope and resilience, can prevent more suicides. Please visit the Reporting on Suicide guidelines for more information.


About AAS: Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes suicide as a research discipline, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center volunteers, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of lay persons who have in interest in suicide prevention. You can learn more about AAS at

Amy Kulp
American Association of Suicidology
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