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Suicide: Consequences

Suicide and Suicide Attempts Take an Enormous Toll on Society

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among Americans.
  • More than 38,000 people died by suicide in 2010.
  • More than 1 million people reported making a suicide attempt in the past year.
  • More than 2 million adults reported thinking about suicide in the past year.
  • Most people who engage in suicidal behavior never seek health services.

Costs to Society

  • Suicide costs society approximately $34.6 billion a year in combined medical and work loss costs.
  • The average suicide costs $1,061,170.
    (CDC cost estimates based on 2005 data. Refers to people age 10 and over.)

Survivors

  • 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. (Brent, 2010; Brent et. al., 2006)
  • 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 (Jordon, 2001; AAS, 2008).
  • No exact figure exists, but it is estimated that a median of between 6 and 32 survivors exist for each suicide, depending on the definition used. (Berman, 2011).
  • According to another estimate, approximately 7% of the US population knew someone who died of suicide during the past 12 months. (Crosby and Sacks, 2002).

References

  1. American Association for Suicidology. Surviving after suicide factsheet. Available online: http://www.suicidology.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=262&name=DLFE-533.pdf
  2. Berman, A. L. Estimating the population of survivors of suicide: Seeking an evidence base. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 2011. 41(1), 110–116.
  3. Brent, D. What family studies teach us about suicidal behavior: implications for research, treatment, and prevention. Eur Psychiatry 2010. 25(5):260–263.
  4. Brent, D.A., Bridge, J., Johnson, B.A., and Connolly, J. Suicidal behavior runs in families. A controlled family study of adolescent suicide victims. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1996. 53(12):1145–1152.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/leading_causes_death.html. Last modified January 2012.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cost of Injury Reports 2005. Available online at http://wisqars.cdc.gov:8080/costT/. Last updated April 2012.
  7. Crosby AE, Sacks JJ. Exposure to suicide: Incidence and association with suicidal ideation and behavior – United States, 1994. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 2002. 32:321–328.
  8. Jordan J. Is Suicide bereavement different? A reassessment of the literature. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 2001. 31(1): 91–102.

 

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  • Page last updated: December 31, 2013
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