State health officials released an updated Wisconsin Suicide Prevention Strategy report, whose goal is to mobilize efforts to address suicide. “We know that suicide in our state is a very significant public health issue,” said Joyce Allen, bureau director at the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Allen said the entire state needs to mobilize to address the issue. A guide shows people what they can do to help. The message is, “There is hope,” Allen said. “Anyone can learn to recognize the warning signs of suicide … and then how they would respond if they did find a loved one, a friend, or a neighbor who might be in pain and might be considering suicide.”
Wisconsin has an average of 724 deaths by suicide each year. Allen says middle age males are a higher risk than other demographics, as are individuals who might be experiencing an interpersonal problem, including those going through divorce, difficult time at work, substance abuse, veterans, homosexuals and transgenders who are struggling.
The state health department is working in partnership with Prevent Suicide Wisconsin in releasing the report. Anyone can contact the suicide prevention lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.