Increase Social Connections

Many people in Wisconsin experience low levels of social connectedness. According to data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System included in the 2014 County Health Rankings, 17% of Wisconsin adults report inadequate social support.

Healthy communities provide infrastructure for social interaction at multiple levels. Strategies for increasing social connections function to bring individuals and families together and promote concepts of shared responsibility within communities. Research demonstrates relationships between loneliness and risk factors for suicide. A report in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that men who have more social connections, such as through marriage and religious participation, tend to have a lower risk of suicide. Study participants who had the most connections had less than half the risk of suicide over 24 years as those with the fewest social ties. Connectedness to others, including family members, teachers, and coworkers, as well as community, faith-based, and social organizations, plays an important role in protecting individuals from suicide.

(See Wisconsin Suicide Prevention Strategy, Page 12)

Getting Connected

Creating Connections- Learn how connections help with increased happiness, better health and a longer life.

Social Support: Getting and Staying Connected- Research has shown that social support wards off the effects of stress on depression, anxiety and other health problems.  If you think you need to be more connected to others, here are some tips to help you create a plan to make, keep and strengthen connections in your life. 

Suicide loss survivor support groups in Wisconsin- grief support groups for all family members and friends after the loss of a loved one to suicide. Connect with other loss survivors in your community. (Download Excel file)

NAMI Peer-to-Peer Program – is a free, 10-session educational program for adults with mental illness who are looking to better understand their condition and journey toward recovery.

NAMI Connection Support Groups- is a free, peer-led support group for adults living with mental illness.  Gain insight from hearing the challenges and successes of others.

Recovery Peer Run Organizations in Wisconsin- non-medical crisis alternative where you can feel safe, receive support in a homelike environment and people understand and believe in you because they’ve been where you are.


QPR- Become a QPR trained Gatekeeper and learn the warning signs of suicide, know how to offer hope and how to get help and save a live. 

Emotional CPR is a public health education program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by Connecting, empowering and Revitalizing.

Honest, Open, Proud (HOP) is a 6-hour experience, participants explore the story they have been telling themselves and practice skills to reverse hurtful self-talk. 

Mental Health First Aid/Youth MH First Aid- is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.


Handbook for Survivors of Suicide– grief resources and information from survivors of suicide who have compiled thoughts and ideas that were helpful for them after their own loss. 

Promote Social Networks and Connectedness-Adults –a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention: strategies, programs and practices to consider.

Promoting Connectedness to Prevent Suicide- a webinar presentation exploring the how and why Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made connectedness a central focus and describe programs that are currently promoting connectedness within specific populations.

Promoting Individual, Family and Community Connectedness to Prevent Suicidal Behavior- a strategic direction for the prevention of suicidal behavior through community connectedness for individuals and families.

Taking Good Care of Yourself- identifying tools and developing plans will help you be more prepared and empowered to take action when it comes to your recovery. 

It’s My Life: Social Self-Directed Care- an innovative intervention that combines Peer Support with other best practices including self-directed care into an integrated skill and support strategy to help people build networks of friends and intimate relationships.

Area Agencies on Aging, Resources for the Elderly – access resources in Wisconsin for individuals aged 60 and over.