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The Cost of Suicide

The fact that the economic burden of suicide falls upon everyone in a society and that it can be substantial cannot be ignored. Nevertheless, some people struggle with the idea of placing a monetary value on suicide and suicidal behaviours, finding such research insensitive or even unethical.

This Alert outlines the variables usually included in determining the cost of suicide, common methods for calculating some of these costs, and associated methodological issues. A few examples of cost estimates are provided. Findings related to the cost-effectiveness of suicide prevention programs are briefly reviewed.

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—Originally published by the Centre for Suicide Prevention, June 2010