Improve the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting and strengthening physicians' ability to practice high-quality patient care in a changing environment.

Policy Compendium

Policy Compendium Home

View Public Health Policies

PUB-042: Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention: The Wisconsin Medical Society recognizes the high and increasing suicide rates nationally and in the State of Wisconsin and strongly supports efforts to prevent suicide and attempted suicide. The following populations are at an increased risk for suicide in Wisconsin: residing in Northern and Western regions of the state, age 45-54, white, male, having less than a high school diploma, divorced, of veteran status, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), having a mental health or substance abuse history, having a history of suicide attempts or disclosing an intent to die. The Society supports the following efforts to prevent suicide:

  1. Target individuals, families and communities, specifically higher-risk populations, with appropriate primary and secondary prevention strategies and programs.
    1. Integrate and coordinate suicide prevention activities across multiple sectors and settings.
    2. Implement evidence-based communication efforts designed to prevent suicide by changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.
    3. Increase knowledge of the factors that offer protection from suicidal behaviors and that promote wellness and recovery.
    4. Promote responsible portrayals of mental illness and suicide in social media, the entertainment industry and online.
    5. Promote efforts to reduce access to lethal means of suicide among individuals with identified suicide risk.
  2. Promote and use evidence-based clinical interventions and programs that can improve mental health, behavioral health and interpersonal relationships.
    1. Develop, implement and monitor effective programs that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.
    2. Provide training to community and clinical service providers on the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.
    3. Promote suicide prevention as a core component of health care services.
    4. Promote and implement effective clinical and professional practices for assessing and treating those identified as being at risk for suicidal behaviors.
  3. Encourage continued surveillance, research and evaluation into suicide prevention efforts.
    1. Increase the timeliness and usefulness of national surveillance systems relevant to suicide prevention and improve the ability to collect, analyze and use this information for action.
    2. Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of suicide prevention interventions and systems and synthesize and disseminate findings. (HOD, 0416)