Healthy Wisconsin: Suicide

Together we can lower suicide rates in Wisconsin.


The number of suicides in Wisconsin has increased every year for the last 10 years. For every death by suicide, there are 10 times as many emergency visits and hospitalizations for self-inflicted injuries. The emotional and financial toll these attempts take on Wisconsin families and communities can’t be measured. But they can be avoided.

Our goals

We want to prevent and reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts in Wisconsin and help people, families and Wisconsin communities develop protective factors that can build emotional resilience, like providing trauma-informed care in the community or maintaining strong social connections.

What's being done

Organizations such as Prevent Suicide Wisconsin and the Zero Suicide Movement are working to create systemic changes in healthcare organizations that serve at-risk populations. And the Wisconsin Council on Mental Health was created to ensure Wisconsin communities get the resources they need.

For more information on the Healthy Wisconsin Action Team’s strategies for preventing suicide and treating suicidal behavior by 2020, download the Suicide report.

ACEs and suicide

Our health isn’t determined by genetics alone. Our choices and experiences—especially the experiences we have in childhood—can have a powerful impact on our long-term health. Abuse, neglect and other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are linked to poorer health and risky behaviors, and the more ACEs a person has, the higher that risk becomes.

ACEs considerably increase the risk of suicidal behaviors. Researchers have discovered that ACEs such as abuse and neglect can lead to toxic stress in children—a condition that can have a lifelong effect on impulse control in the brain.

It’s important to remember that ACEs may increase the odds of having health challenges, but they don’t guarantee poor health or risky behavior. We will continue to research the connection between ACEs and suicide and help people find positive ways to deal with life’s challenges and overcome adversity.


Learn more about suicide in Wisconsin.

Get involved

Find support or learn what you can do to improve mental health services and policies in your community.

Last Revised: July 6, 2021