Suicide and Suicide Attempts Take an Enormous Toll on Society
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among Americans.
- Nearly 37,000 people died by suicide in 2009.
- 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
- Each suicide, costs society approximately $34.6 billion 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.)
- 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).
- 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
- Berman, A. L. Estimating the population of survivors of suicide: Seeking an evidence base. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 2011. 41(1), 110–116.
- Brent, D. What family studies teach us about suicidal behavior: implications for research, treatment, and prevention. Eur Psychiatry 2010. 25(5):260–263.
- 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.
- 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.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cost of Injury Reports 2005. Available online at http://wisqars.cdc.gov:8080/costT/. Last updated April 2012.
- 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.
- Jordan J. Is Suicide bereavement different? A reassessment of the literature. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 2001. 31(1): 91–102.