Suicide Prevention and Resources

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)


Dane County Crisis Line

(608) 280-2600

Suicide Prevention

Knowing the warning signs can help prevent suicide.Preventing suicide starts with every one of us. Knowing the signs and where to find help can save lives.


Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the second leading cause of death for young people. Anyone can be at risk - old, young, any gender, any ethnicity. And while there are many complex causes of suicide, it is often preventable.


In Wisconsin, there were 874 suicides in 2015. In Dane County alone, between 50 and 60 people every year die by suicide. 


For every 1 person lost to suicide, it is estimated that:

-3 people are hospitalized for a suicide attempt

-10 people visit the emergency department for a suicide attempt

-33 attempts don't result in hospitalization or a visit to the emergency department


For every person lost to suicide, there are many who survive. Many attempts go unreported or untreated so it is difficult to know the numbers for certain. But help is available.


Where to Find Help


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255)


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free and confidential help 24-hours a day for people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. An online chat option for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is also available on their website


Warning Signs for Suicide


When you notice changes in a friend or loved one's behavior, it may be a temporary stress, or it may be something more. The important thing is to listen and pay attention to what's going on. And if you're concerned in any way, find help.

Immediate Risk


The following three signs should prompt you to immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), and take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a mental health professional. Do not leave the person alone and remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or obtaining a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live

Serious Risk


When someone starts to act in a way that worries you, the changes may be a sign of a serious issue. Some of the behaviors may include:

  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

Pay close attention if the behavior is new, has increased, and/or seems related to a painful event, loss, or life change. The more signs a person shows, the greater the risk of suicide.




Internet Resources

Videos on Suicide Prevention

Remember, there is help available when you need it most. From 24-hour telephone lines to supportive social networks, and of course caring friends and family, you're never alone.