Suicide and Suicidal Attempts in the United States: Costs and Policy Implications

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Abstract

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.

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