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Suicide is a significant public health problem in Dane County and Wisconsin:
  • In Dane County, over 1/4 of injury-related deaths are a result of suicide.
  • In 2011, there was an alarming increase from a prior average of 50 deaths per year to 74 suicide deaths.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, there was an average of 835 visits to the hospital for self-inflicted injuries (suicide attempts).
  • The greatest number of suicides occurred in individuals ages 35-44, while the greatest number of hospitalizations and ER visits for suicide attempts occur in younger individuals ages 15-24.

For more local suicide data:

Ninety percent of the people that die by suicide have a treatable mental illness or substance abuse problem. Suicide is often preventable with education, treatment and support.

A community-wide Suicide Prevention Task Force, lead by Safe Communities, works in a number of ways to try to prevent suicides in Dane County:

  • "Lethal means restriction" or keeping the leading methods of suicide, such as guns or pills, away from people in crisis.
  • The Task Force is working with individual communities to develop a community action plan and offer QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainings in workplaces, churches, senior centers, and other community settings. QPR teaches laypeople how to recognize signs that a loved one or someone else you come in contact with might be contemplating suicide, and steps to take to convince them to seek help.
  • Training and networking through Suicide Prevention Summits.