There are three reasons why we do the work of suicide prevention.
1) It is the right thing to do.
Everyone has the right to live with dignity and respect. When people need help, we need to reach out to them. We need to care for everyone in our society.
2) Each suicide death costs $850,000 (in 1996 dollars)
For each suicide death indirect and direct costs total $850,000. Direct costs include police investigation, ambulance, emergency room, and funeral costs. Indirect costs include all the wages from years of life lost, and all the costs of the six people who are directly affected by each suicide (more recent studies indicate this number is closer to 20).
3) People who attempt suicide, and die by suicide, do not actually want to die. They want the pain of living to stop – and that’s not the same thing. We need to help these people, and advocate for them; when they are in the depths of depression, they are not in a place to advocate for themselves.
We understand that the work of suicide prevention is long term; we are not able to affect the suicide rate overnight. However, keeping in mind the best practices of education, responsible media reporting, means restriction, and easy access to mental health services, we can build suicide prevention into our society. We can keep people alive.