Demographics

  • The suicide rate among Wisconsin residents increased by 40%, 2000–2017.
  • The majority of suicide deaths were male, 2013–2017.
  • The majority of those hospitalized or presenting at the emergency department with self-harm injuries were female, 2016–2017.
  • The suicide rate was highest among individuals ages 45–54, 2013–2017.
  • The suicide rate (per 100,000) for Wisconsin residents ages 45–54 has more than doubled from 2000 to 2017.
  • Suicide rates were highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives and Whites, 2013–2017.
  • Suicide rates were higher in rural counties than urban/suburban counties, 2013–2017.

Circumstances of Suicide Deaths

  • Firearm was the most commonly used method of suicide, 2013–2017.
  • 71% of all deaths by firearm in Wisconsin from 2013 through 2017 were suicide deaths.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 individuals who died by suicide had a previous suicide attempt, 2013–2017.
  • Prescription medications were the most common type of substances determined to contribute to death among poisoning suicides, 2014–2017.
  • Among suicide deaths in which toxicology testing was performed, alcohol was the most commonly detected substance, 2014–2017. Approximately 1 in 4 individuals who died by suicide had a reported alcohol issue that contributed to suicide, 2013–2017.
  • Approximately 1 in 4 individuals who died by suicide had a reported physical health problem, 2013–2017.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 individuals who died by suicide had a reported job problem, financial problem, or both.
  • 1 in 3 individuals who died by suicide had a reported intimate partner issue, 2013–2017. 

Suicide among Veterans

  • Veterans accounted for almost 1 in every 5 suicide deaths, 2013–2017.
  • Veterans who died by suicide were more likely to have a reported physical health problem and less likely to have reported a mental health issue when compared with non-veterans, 2013–2017.
  • Veterans were more likely to use a firearm (70% of all veteran suicides) as the method of suicide and be male (97% of all veteran suicides) when compared to non-veterans, 2013–2017. 

Suicide among Youth

  • 271 adolescents (ages 10–19) died by suicide from 2013–2017.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among 10 to 19 year olds, 2013–2017.
  • Suicidal ideation was reported by approximately 1 in 6 Wisconsin public high school students, 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
  • Adolescents who died by suicide were more likely to disclose suicide intent to a friend or peer when compared with adults, 2013–2017. 
  • Adolescents who died by suicide were more likely to have a reported family problem, school problem, or both when compared with adults, 2013–2017.
  • Females ages 15–17 had the highest rates of emergency department visits and hospitalization stays with self-harm injuries, 2016–2017.

Suicide among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Individuals

  • Half of LGBT youth in Wisconsin public high schools reported depression, 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
  • LGBT youth are 3 times more likely than their heterosexual peers to have considered suicide,
    2017 YRBS.