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Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, December 19, 2023

First hour: Your holiday recycling questions answered

Second hour: Addressing higher rates of suicide among older men

In the first hour, we turn the spotlight on holiday recycling. As we navigate the festive season, our homes often become filled with items we're unsure how to dispose of responsibly. To help guide us through this challenge, guest host Jasmin Singer leads a discussion with local recycling experts who answer all of your burning questions. Whether it's figuring out what to do with your Christmas tree, how to properly recycle tangled holiday lights or the best ways to handle the mountains of packaging from your online shopping, we've got you covered. This segment is dedicated to providing clarity and practical tips for recycling during this festive and often wasteful time of the year. Our guests:

  • Mike Garland, director of the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services
  • Tina Stevens, education coordinator for the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services

Then, in our second hour, we turn our attention to a troubling and often overlooked public health issue: the rising suicide rates among older men, particularly those above 75. Recent data shows those rates are significantly higher than those of other demographic groups. To understand and address this issue, guest host Jasmin Singer and experts explore the complex interplay of factors contributing to this trend, including the 'five Ds' of late-life suicide: depression, disconnection, disability, disease, and access to deadly means. The discussion also covers the role of mental health care for the elderly, the importance of recognizing and addressing ageism in our society, and strategies to support older individuals in our communities. We’re also joined by a mental health advocate who shares his story and his strategies for reducing the stigma of mental illness. Our guests:

  • Yeates Conwell, M.D., professor of psychiatry, geriatric psychiatrist and leader of the “Vital Aging” initiative of the University of Rochester’s Aging Institute
  • Kathleen Cameron, senior director of the National Center on Aging's Center for Healthy Aging
  • Padraic Lillis, filmmaker, writer, educator, and mental health advocate
Jasmin Singer is the host of WXXI’s Weekend Edition and Environmental Connections, as well as a guest host for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Connections.