Wisconsin Suicide Prevention
Why should we care?
Suicide occurs among all groups of
people. No age, race, or socioeconomic class is immune.
The suicide rate in Wisconsin is four times the homicide rate. Each year,
over 700 Wisconsin residents die by suicide. In addition, approximately
5,500 Wisconsin residents are hospitalized due to intentional,
self-inflicted injury. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of years of
potential life lost (YPLL) before age 65. During 2007-2011, the cost of
inpatient hospitalizations due to self-inflicted injury was over $369
million. Most importantly, suicide exacts an incalculable toll on
family, friends, and loved ones. Though the burden of suicide in
Wisconsin is great, hope lies in the fact that suicide is preventable.
What do we know?
Alhough suicide affects all people, certain groups are burdened more than
others in Wisconsin:
- Adults aged 45-54 experience the highest suicide rate by age.
- Nearly four out of five people who die by suicide are male.
- Whites experience the highest suicide rates by race, followed by American Indians/Alaska Natives,
Asians/Pacific Islanders, and Blacks/African Americans.
Common circumstances related to suicide in Wisconsin have been identified:
- Approximately 50 percent of suicide decedents have at least one known mental health problem, and
more than 40 percent are receiving mental health treatment at the time of death.
- Personal crises, intimate partner problems, substance abuse problems, physical health issues, and job
problems are prominent circumstances of suicide.
For more information on the extent and characteristics of suicide,
please see the 2014 report:
The Burden of Suicide in Wisconsin: 2007-2011 - P-00648 (07/2014) (PDF, 4.4 MB)
To search for suicide and self-inflicted injury data using the Wisconsin
Interactive Statistics on Health (WISH) data query system, please
refer to the following tutorial:
Tutorial for Suicide and Self-Injury Queries
What can we do?
Suicide prevention efforts promote healthy brain
development, positive behaviors, and supportive relationships. They also
provide or enhance services for people experiencing mental health
problems, substance use issues, suicidal ideation, or personal crises.
These activities can target individuals, families, communities, and
society through primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention pathways.
- Primary prevention focuses on strategies that promote the
health of the population and reduce risk factors for all people.
- Secondary prevention focuses on early detection and
intervention or treatment of suicidal or potential suicidal
- Tertiary prevention focuses on providing treatment once
suicidal behavior has taken place and preventing its recurrence.
A comprehensive national plan for suicide prevention was outlined by the U.S. Surgeon General in
2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives
for Action (exit DHS)
More information on specific suicide prevention programs can be found at
the National Registry of
Evidence-based Programs and Practices (exit DHS).
For more information on suicide prevention activities occurring in
Wisconsin, please visit the
Prevent Suicide Wisconsin website
For information on youth suicide prevention, visit the
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website
August 08, 2014