Suicide rates rise by 40% in Wisconsin

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Wausau, Wis. (WSAW)-- It's world suicide prevention day and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is out with staggering new numbers, about just how many people have taken their own lives.

Suicide Prevention Day

The statistics show from 2000-2017, there was a 40% jump in suicides.

From 2013-2017 the rates were highest among those between the ages of 45-54 . In 2017 it was mostly men.

Suicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death among adolescents in Wisconsin.

The numbers are mind-boggling for those in the mental health field.

"We're fortunate to have a Suicide Prevention Day, where we get to have this conversation," said Dr. Brian Weiland. "At the same time its unfortunate that we have to have a Suicide Prevention Day. "

Clinical psychologist Dr. Brian Weiland is surprised that suicide rates rose 40% from 2000-2017 here in Wisconsin. It shows him there's plenty of work to be done.

"If there's one thing we can do better at and continue better at that will have a positive effect is the stigma reduction."

He says more than ever the conversation of mental illness is ongoing. And for those with suicidal thoughts, find someone to talk to, whether it be a friend or a counselor.

"Its not a sign of weakness, it doesn't mean there's something wrong with you," said Weiland. "It doesn't mean you're inferior in some way. It means there's something going on with your brain and we should talk about it."

With suicide being the 2nd leading cause of death among adolescents, parents -- don't be afraid to talk to your child.

"With adolescents we know depression can sometimes manifest itself through aggression or frustration or irritability. So with our young people we want to be careful if they're showing those symptoms as well that we try to give them the attention they need."

Again, those numbers are from 2000-2017. There are numbers that tell us suicide is taking a dip here in Wisconsin.

In 2017, there were 918 suicides. That number drops to 886 in 2018.