Which is greater, the yearly number of suicides in Wisconsin or the yearly number of homicides? The answer is that in recent years, completed suicides exceeded homicides by a wide margin – almost four to one.
• Each year about 650 people succeed in suicide attempts in Wisconsin. An additional 5,000 people are hospitalized for self-inflicted injuries.
• On average, one young person under the age of 20 succeeds in suicide each week. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Wisconsin youth.
• Most people who attempt suicide do not want to die, they just don’t know how else to stop the pain they are experiencing. September 2 through 8 has been designated as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week.
Don’t be afraid to talk about suicide. Studies have shown that asking about suicide does not put the thought in people’s heads or increase the risk that they will attempt suicide. It may allow them to talk and get help.
Make sure the person gets help. Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is always available at (800) 458-8183. Other resources include your primary care physician, local mental health professional, clergy or another trusted professional.
Secure your firearms. The American Association of Suicidology reports that research has shown that access to and the availability of fi rearms is a significant factor in youth suicide.
Get informed. Visit Mental Health America of Wisconsin’s website at www.mhawisconsin.org for information about risk factors and warning signs of suicide, and general information about mental illness.
Suicide is preventable if we can recognize it and talk about it. For additional information about symptoms, signs and a depression screening, call EAP to set up a confidential appointment with a counselor.
For additional assistance with personal or work concerns, contact Agnesian HealthCare’s Work and Wellness Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at (800) 458-8183.