Photo: Rob Homer
Suicides in the ACT in 2012 alone will cost the economy a total of $24 million in the long run, according to a new report commissioned by a local support group.
The KPMG report, commissioned by Menslink, considered the direct costs of suicide, including coronial enquiries, police and ambulance work and counselling for bereaved loved ones.
It also took into account the income the person would have received from age of death to retirement.
According to the report, based on the estimated number of suicides Australia-wide and the estimated cost per suicide, suicide in Australia in 2012 will cost the economy $1.7 billion in immediate and ongoing costs.
An estimated 2614 Australians died by suicide in 2012, 2088 of them male and 526 female.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 34 people took their own lives in the ACT in 2011, 23 of them male and 11 female.
The ACT had the third lowest rate of suicide in Australia after NSW and Victoria, the highest rate was in the Northern Territory.
The stated objectives of the report were to highlight the magnitude of the problem of suicide and “provide decision makers with a greater insight into the potential benefits (i.e. avoided economic cost) from investing in programs and treatments that reduce the number of suicides in Australia.”
Male suicide accounted for about 90 per cent of the total economic cost suicide in 2012, because a greater number of men died of suicide that year, men died of suicide at a younger age and the higher rate of income and employment among men.
The report also estimated that the federal government lost $525 million in income tax revenue in 2012 due to suicide.
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Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467