Costs of Suicide
Suicide and suicide attempts take a tremendous emotional toll on the families and friends of those who died, as well as on attempt survivors. But suicide also has economic costs for individuals, families, communities, states, and the nation as a whole. These include medical costs for individuals and families, lost income for families, and lost productivity for employers.
The costs of suicidal behaviors—and the savings that can result from preventing these behaviors—can help convince policymakers and other stakeholders that suicide prevention is an investment that will save dollars as well as lives. For example, the recent study Suicide and Suicidal Attempts in the United States: Costs and Policy Implications revealed the following:1
- The average cost of one suicide was $1,795,379.
- 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.
Mean Medical and Work-Loss Costs per Injury Death by Intent – United States, 20132
Mean Medical and Work-Loss Costs per Emergency Department-Treated Nonfatal Injury, by Intent – United States, 20133
- Shepard, D. S., Gurewich, D., Lwin, A. K., Reed, G. A., Jr., & Silverman, M. M. (2015). Suicide and suicidal attempts in the United States: Costs and policy implications. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.
- Florence, C., Simon, T., Haegerich, T. Luo, F., & Zhou, C. (2015). Estimated lifetime medical and work-loss costs of fatal injuries – United States, 2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 64(38), 1074–1077. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6438a4.htm
- Florence, C., Haegerick, T., Simon, T., Zhou, C, and Luo, F. (2015). Estimated lifetime medical and work-loss costs of emergency department-treated nonfatal injuries – United States, 2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 64(38), 1077–1082. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6438a5.htm