The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced today that it has received a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent suicide in the state. The award is for $868,730, with similar funding expected for each of the next four years. Five other states were chosen for funding through the competitive grant process: Florida, Georgia, New York, North Dakota, and Oregon.
The money will be used to reduce deaths in areas of our state with the highest rates of suicide through several strategies, including establishing partnerships with groups involved in mental health and suicide prevention, while also engaging people with lived experience of suicide loss, attempts, and/or ideation.
“This funding could not come at a more critical time. In the last 20 years, suicide in Wisconsin has increased 32%. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the state, taking the lives of nearly 900 Wisconsin residents in 2020,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “We cannot continue to lose our family, friends, or members of our communities to suicide. This landmark funding from the CDC will help save lives and save many from the unique and difficult pain of losing someone to suicide.”
People experiencing suicidal thoughts, mental health issues, and/or substance use disorders can call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. This line provides free and confidential help to callers of any age 24 hours a day and can be accessed by calling or texting 988, or using the chat feature available at https://www.988lifeline.org/(link is external).
To learn more about suicide prevention efforts in Wisconsin, as well as risk factors and warning signs for suicide, visit the DHS suicide prevention webpage.