Editor's Note: This story includes discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, please dial 988 to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has received a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent suicide in the state.

The award is for $868,730, with similar funding expected for the next four years.

The money will be used to reduce deaths in areas across the state with the highest suicide rates through several strategies. These include establishing partnerships with groups involved in mental health and suicide prevention, while also engaging people with lived experience of suicide loss or attempts.

“This funding could not come at a more critical time. In the last 20 years, suicide in Wisconsin has increased 32%. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the state, taking the lives of nearly 900 Wisconsin residents in 2020,” DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said. “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.”

Five other states were chosen for funding through the competitive grant process: Florida, Georgia, New York, North Dakota and Oregon.

Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or mental health issues can call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. It 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/.

Visit the DHS suicide prevention webpage for more about suicide prevention efforts in Wisconsin, as well as risk factors and warning signs.


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