The economic cost of suicide and non-fatal suicide behavior in the Australian workforce and the potential impact of a workplace suicide prevention strategy

Kinchin, Irina, and Doran, Chris M. (2017) The economic cost of suicide and non-fatal suicide behavior in the Australian workforce and the potential impact of a workplace suicide prevention strategy. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14 (4). 347. pp. 1-14.

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Abstract

Suicide and non-fatal suicide behavior (NFSB) are significant problems faced by most countries. The objective of this research is to quantify the economic cost of suicide and NFSB in the Australian workforce and to examine the potential impact of introducing a workplace suicide prevention intervention to reduce this burden. The analysis used the best available suicide data, a well-established costing methodology, and a proven workplace intervention. In 2014, 903 workers died by suicide, 2303 workers harmed themselves resulting in full incapacity, and 11,242 workers harmed themselves resulting in a short absence from work. The present value of the economic cost of suicide and NFSB is estimated at $6.73 billion. Our analysis suggests the economic benefit of implementing a universal workplace strategy would considerably outweigh the cost of the strategy. For every one dollar invested, the benefits would be in excess of $1.50 ($1.11–$3.07), representing a positive economic investment. All variations of the key parameter hold the positive benefit-cost ratio. Rates of suicide and NFSB are far too high in Australia and elsewhere. More needs to be done to reduce this burden. Although workplace strategies are appropriate for those employed, these interventions must be used within a multifaceted approach that reflects the complex nature of self-harming behavior.

Item ID: 48159
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1660-4601
Keywords: suicide; non-fatal suicide behavior; mental health; intentional self-harm; impact; cost; NCIS; workforce; prevention; economic
Additional Information:

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2017 00:41
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 40%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 30%
14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920504 Occupational Health @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control @ 20%
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