- Jul 13, 2018
Suicide and Suicide Attempts Take an Enormous Toll on Society
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among Americans.1
- Nearly 45,000 people died by suicide in 2016.1
- An estimated 1.3 million people made a suicide attempt in the past year.2
- Almost 10 million adults reported having serious thoughts about suicide in the past year.2
- Suicide and self-harm injuries cost society about $70 billion a year in combined medical and work loss costs.1
- A survivor of suicide is a family member or friend of a person who died by suicide.
- Surviving the loss of loved one to suicide is a risk factor for suicide.3
- Surviving family members and close friends are deeply impacted by each suicide and experience a range of complex grief reactions, including, guilt, anger, abandonment, denial, helplessness, and shock.4,5
- No exact figure exists, but it is estimated that between 6 and 32 survivors exist for each suicide, depending on the definition used.6
- According to another estimate, approximately 7% of the U.S. population knew someone who died by suicide during the past 12 months.7
- The average cost of one suicide was $1,329,553.
- More than 97 percent of this cost was due to lost productivity. The remaining 3 percent were costs associated with medical treatment.
- The total cost of suicides and suicide attempts was $93.5 billion.
- Every $1.00 spent on psychotherapeutic interventions and interventions that strengthened linkages among different care providers saved $2.50 in the cost of suicides.
The national cost of suicides and suicide attempts in the United States in 2013 was $58.4 billion based on reported numbers alone. Lost productivity (termed indirect costs) represents most (97.1%) of this cost. Adjustment for under‐reporting increased the total cost to $93.5 billion or $298 per capita, 2.1–2.8 times that of previous studies. Previous research suggests that improved continuity of care would likely reduce the number of subsequent suicidal attempts following a previous nonfatal attempt. We estimate a highly favorable benefit–cost ratio of 6 to 1 for investments in additional medical, counseling, and linkage services for such patients.
Suicide and non-fatal suicide behavior (NFSB) are significant problems faced by most countries. The objective of this research is to quantify the economic cost of suicide and NFSB in the Australian workforce and to examine the potential impact of introducing a workplace suicide prevention intervention to reduce this burden. The analysis used the best available suicide data, a well-established costing methodology, and a proven workplace intervention. In 2014, 903 workers died by suicide, 2303 workers harmed themselves resulting in full incapacity, and 11,242 workers harmed themselves resulting in a short absence from work. The present value of the economic cost of suicide and NFSB is estimated at $6.73 billion. Our analysis suggests the economic benefit of implementing a universal workplace strategy would considerably outweigh the cost of the strategy. For every one dollar invested, the benefits would be in excess of $1.50 ($1.11–$3.07), representing a positive economic investment. All variations of the key parameter hold the positive benefit-cost ratio. Rates of suicide and NFSB are far too high in Australia and elsewhere. More needs to be done to reduce this burden. Although workplace strategies are appropriate for those employed, these interventions must be used within a multifaceted approach that reflects the complex nature of self-harming behavior.
These authors argue that estimates of the net economic cost of suicide should go beyond accounting for direct medical costs and indirect costs from loss of earnings by those who commit suicide. There are potential savings from (a) not having to treat the depressive and other psychiatric disorders of those who kill themselves; (b) avoidance of pension, social security and nursing home care costs; and (c) assisted-suicide. By combining all of these costs and savings, it is concluded that the net economic cost of the 30,906 completed suicides in 1990 entailed an economic gain for the society of roughly $5.07 billion in year—2005 dollars. This calculation does not include estimated costs due to the psychological pain and suffering of the survivors. Suicide should be prevented based on humane considerations, not on the economic cost involved.
They don't want you to kill yourself because you're a cost to their profits. They don't care about you. They are about the money you can make them. Never forget that.