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

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2016 Jun;46(3):352-62. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12225. Epub 2015 Oct 29.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Costs and Cost Analysis / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Policy Making*
  • Suicide / economics*
  • Suicide, Attempted / economics*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult