National Data 

CDC Report - Suicide Rates on the Rise Nationally 

This report summarizes national suicide death data for both women and men from the years 2000-2016. To highlight some of the key findings regarding suicide in women: 

In 2016, the means of suicide among females varied by age group.

  • Among females aged 10–14, the most frequent means of suicide in 2016 was suffocation (119 of 171 deaths or 70%) 
  • Nearly three-quarters of all suicides among females aged 15–24 involved either suffocation (509 of 1,148 deaths or 44%) or firearms (335 deaths or 29%).
  • Among females aged 25–44, 32% (1,035 of 3,215 deaths) of suicides involved firearms, 31% involved suffocation (1,004 deaths), and 28% involved poisoning (887 deaths).
  • Poisoning was the most frequent means of suicide among females aged 45 and over, accounting for 40% of suicides among those aged 45–64 (1,720 of 4,253 deaths), 41% among those aged 65–74 (381 of 940 deaths), and 37% among those aged 75 and over (188 of 510 deaths).
  • Firearms were the second most frequent means of suicide among females aged 45 and over, accounting for 32% of suicides among those aged 45–64 (1,361 of 4,253 deaths), 38% among those aged 65–74 (358 of 940 deaths), and 33% among those aged 75 and over (168 of 510 deaths)

WI Specific Data 

Significance of Self-Harm (Harming oneself without intention to die)

"Men are at a greater risk of dying from suicide than women. In contrast, women are seen in hospitals and emergency departments for suicide attempts and other self-harm injuries more often than men."  (Suicide in WI Report, 2020)

"In addition to the sex and age disparities, data reveal additional subpopulations whose risk for suicide or self-inflicted injuries may be elevated. Self-harm injury rates were highest among Blacks and American Indians/Alaskan Natives. "

Significance of Mental Health Issues & Substance Abuse 

Resources Related to Women's Suicide Prevention

Guide on Lethal Means and Suicide Prevention Released 

Reducing access to lethal means, such as firearms and medication, can determine whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies. Mental health professionals and laypeople alike can learn how to work with suicidal individuals to reduce their access to means. Counseling on Access to Lethal Means is a free online course that covers how to: identify people who could benefit from lethal means counseling; ask about their access to lethal methods; and work with them—and their families and friends—to reduce access.

WI Women-Specific Substance Abuse Treatment Centers & Services Guide

Lists valuable resources specific to women's substance abuse treatment by region in Wisconsin. From the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Report - Suicide Among Women Veterans (US Department of Veteran Affairs)

Women veterans are almost twice as likely as non-veteran women to die by suicide. This issue brief focuses on the link between psychopathology and suicide risk among women veterans - a link that is stronger than among male veterans. It highlights suicide risk related to mental health conditions, substance use disorders, intimate partner violence, and problems with emotion regulation and distress tolerance. The brief provides recommendations for identifying and assisting women veterans at risk for suicide for clinicians and providers. 

The Girlfriend's Guide - What to Expect When Your Girlfriend Is Grieving 

A manual with tips on how to support a friend who is grieving after suicide loss. 

Resources Related to Self-Harm

Crisis Textline's Self-Harm Info Page

Overview of different types of self-harm behaviors and symptoms and how to deal with self-harm behaviors. 

Crisis Textline: Text HOME to 741741 to be connected with a crisis counselor 

Trauma Informed Interventions for People Who Self Injure 

This document is from the California Center for Excellence in Trauma-Informed Care. Discusses how self-harm is used as a coping mechanism, the repercussions of trauma, how to appropriately discuss self-harm with someone who does it, crisis intervention, developing a safety plan, and harm reduction. 

Reducing Self-Harm Self-Help Tool 

This worksheet helps you put together a ‘Self-Harm Coping Plan’ so that you can remind yourself about alternatives and more constructive strategies for dealing with your feelings when you feel the urge to self-harm.

Calm Harm App 

Calm Harm is an award-winning app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, using the basic principles of an evidence-based therapy called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Calm Harm provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm. You can make it private by setting a password, and personalize the app if you so wish. You will be able to track your progress and notice change. Please note the app is an aid in treatment but does not replace it.