Suicide is preventable and, by collaborating together, we can save lives
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month at UW-Madison
September is globally recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison will participate in coordinated activities throughout the month to engage our campus community around this important, though often under-recognized and misunderstood, health issue.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students nationwide and one in four adults will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. During the 2015 and 2016 spring semesters, UW-Madison participated in the National College Health Assessment and the Healthy Minds Study. From these surveys we learned that, at least once in the previous 12 months:
- 55% of UW-Madison students reported experiencing overwhelming anxiety (NCHA, 2015),
- 31% reported feeling so depressed it was difficult to function (NCHA, 2015), and
- 9% reported suicidal ideation (HMS, 2016).
“It is vital to understand the prevalence of mental health issues and suicide among college students in order to both increase awareness and guide prevention strategies at UW-Madison. However, we ultimately want all members of our campus community to remember that suicide is preventable and by collaborating together, we can save lives,” says Valerie Donovan, suicide prevention coordinator at University Health Services.
“UW-Madison, guided by the Wisconsin Idea, takes a highly collaborative systems approach to suicide prevention and mental health promotion focusing on enhancing protective factors and mitigating risk factors associated. We work with many campus partners to build UW-Madison’s collective capacity to offer students a learning experience that is inclusive, affirming, and supportive.”
Throughout the month of September, organizations and individuals on campus aim to increase awareness of suicide and promote prevention. Join the UW-Madison community as we work to reduce stigma and invest in a healthy campus.
- Read and sign the UW-Madison Pledge to be Stigma Free
- Sign up for a suicide prevention training or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule one for a group.
- Check out the full list of suicide prevention events and activities on campus.
- Students who complete At-Risk in September will receive a coupon for free ice cream! Students who complete the program during other months this semester will be entered to win a coupon as well.
- Share this news story and involvement opportunities through your communication channels.
Mental Health Services providers will be present at all UHS-sponsored Suicide Prevention Awareness Month events.
To learn more about ways to be involved in Suicide Prevention Awareness Month or available resources, visit uhs.wisc.edu/suicide-prevention.
Get help for yourself or someone else.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. Asking for help is a sign of strength. There are many free, confidential resources available. Click here to learn more.
UW-Madison students can call the UHS 24-hour crisis line at 608-265-5600 (option 9). UHS also offers third-party consultation for anyone who is concerned about an enrolled student.
Non-students can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
If a situation is immediately life threatening, always call 911.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month at UW-Madison is supported by the UW-Madison Suicide Prevention Council, University Health Services and many valuable, vital campus and community partners.