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The cost of youth suicide in Australia
journal contributionposted on 14.09.2018, 00:00 by Irina KinchinIrina Kinchin, Christopher DoranChristopher Doran
Suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians between 15 and 24 years of age. This study seeks to estimate the economic cost of youth suicide (15-24 years old) for Australia using 2014 as a reference year. The main outcome measure is monetized burden of youth suicide. Costs, in 2014 AU$, are measured and valued as direct costs, such as coronial inquiry, police, ambulance, and funeral expenses; indirect costs, such as lost economic productivity; and intangible costs, such as bereavement. In 2014, 307 young Australians lost their lives to suicide (82 females and 225 males). The average age at time of death was 20.4 years, representing an average loss of 62 years of life and close to 46 years of productive capacity. The average cost per youth suicide is valued at $2,884,426, including $9721 in direct costs, $2,788,245 as the value of lost productivity, and $86,460 as the cost of bereavement. The total economic loss of youth suicide in Australia is estimated at $22 billion a year (equivalent to US$ 17 billion), ranging from $20 to $25 billion. These findings can assist decision-makers understand the magnitude of adverse outcomes associated with youth suicide and the potential benefits to be achieved by investing in effective suicide prevention strategies. © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.