September is Suicide Prevention Month in WI

Governor Tony Evers has designated September as Suicide
Prevention Month across the state of Wisconsin, and this week is also Suicide
Prevention Week in the United States. Suicide is the second leading cause of
death among adolescents in both Wisconsin and the nation, and the Fond du Lac
Area YScreen Program is one of the resources in the area working to help youth
who may be at risk of suicide. “Every year, the Fond du Lac School District and
outlying school districts do a student health survey,” Sharon Stoffel, a
clinician with YScreen told us.”This year, 15 percent of the respondents said
they seriously considered suicide, seven percent reported attempting suicide,”
she said. While the current numbers are down from the 26 percent of students
who said they “strongly considered” suicide in 2004, the survey’s first year–
Stoffel says it’s likely the percentages have stayed nearly the same since

Stoffel says that having a week devoted to Suicide
Prevention is important, simply because suicide is something that can be
prevented. “It’s something that we can decrease, it’s something that doesn’t
need to happen,” Stoffel said. “With people needing just to feel comfortable to
speak out when they’re struggling and not suffer in silence – that’s a big part
of YScreen, we don’t want any kids to feel like they can’t talk about it, or
they can’t share when they’re struggling.”

Click here to learn more about the YScreen program.