Suicide Prevention Resources

Suicide is a leading cause of death—and it's preventable. There is no single cause of suicide. Use these resources to save lives.

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Risk Factors

Risk factors are stressful events, situations, or conditions that exist in a person’s life that may increase the likelihood of at tempting or dying by suicide. There is no predictive list of a particular set of risk factors that spells imminent danger of suicide. It is important to understand that risk factors do not cause suicide.

Risk factors most strongly associated with suicidal behavior include the following.


  • Prior suicide attempt(s)
  • Suicidal threats; homicidal ideation
  • A suicide plan
  • Fantasy concept/preoccupation with death
  • Mental disorders, particularly depression, mood disorder, personality disorder,schizophrenia, anxiety or psychosis lasting over two weeks
  • Alcohol or other substance use disorders
  • Major physical illness
  • Hopeless, helpless, very unhappy
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • Low self-esteem
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Changes and worsening in self-injuring behavior
  • Access to lethal means (firearms, poisons, prescription medications, alcohol or other substances)
  • Stressors related to sexual orientation


  • History of interpersonal violence, conflict, trauma, or abuse
  • Social isolation, alienation from family members, friends
  • Moving/being new to a school
  • Family dysfunction or changes (illnesses, parental/marital conflict, absentee parent)
  • Stigma or barriers associated with help-seeking behavior
  • Exposure to suicidal behavior of a family member or close friend


  • Multiple losses (job, financial, relationship, social)
  • “Loss of face” or disrespect from peers
  • Recent disappointment/rejection
  • Lack of social support
  • Barriers to health care and mental health care
  • Portrayal of suicide in the media (movies, news, or music)
  • Perceived pressure to succeed by self or others


  • Certain cultural/religious beliefs that accept suicide as a solution
  • Loss of connection to spiritual/religious beliefs
  • Cultural values and attitudes

Source: Mental Health America of Wisconsin

Warning Signs

Seek help as soon as possible if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following suicide warnings signs.

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities--seemingly without thinking
  • Feeling trapped--like there's no way out
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
  • Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes
  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life

Source: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Team based care infographicFind Support

Emergency - 911
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Veterans Crisis Line - 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
LGBTQ Crisis Line - 1-866-488-7386
Teen Line -  310-855-4673
HopeLine Text Service - Text HOPELINE to 741741




Healthy Wisconsin Priority: Suicide

One of the goals of the Wisconsin State Health Assessment and Health Improvement Plan is to prevent suicide in Wisconsin. Get more information


Last Revised: June 11, 2018