Christine Wesling, Coordinator of Student Services
In the United States, one person completes suicide every 12.3 minutes. Few of us have escaped the devastation of losing a friend or family member to this preventable death. Along with others in our state, the School District of Janesville is working to educate our staff and students in suicide prevention throughout September (Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month).
Prevent Suicide Wisconsin is a suicide prevention coalition that tells us that:
In Wisconsin, suicide prevention awareness starts with this number: 755.
This is the number of Wisconsinites who died by suicide in 2014, the most recent year for which we have data. That is 4.5 times the number of people who died as a result of homicide in Wisconsin that year.
Here is another number: 6%.
That is the number of youth who reported making a suicide attempt on the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. About one youth under the age of 20 dies by suicide each week in Wisconsin.
The most recent measure of suicide rate in Rock County is 15.6 deaths per 100,000 people per year (WISH/Mortality Module 2003 - 2015). We have felt the devastation of youth and adult suicide as a district family. That 15.6 number means something very real to us as a district. It means people we knew and loved. It is important that we know how to recognize and support a student, friend, family member, or co-worker when they are in crisis. We can make a difference.
Let's help our students and staff to have a healthy year, both physically and mentally. Don't miss an opportunity to show that you care when you know someone is troubled. Know the signs and how to respond. If you suspect that an individual is contemplating suicide - remember to ACT:
Acknowledge the person’s feelings.
Take it seriously.
Be willing to listen.
Voice your concern.
Tell someone - a parent, relative, teacher, counselor.
Call Rock County Crisis Hotline 608-757-5025
or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK
There are a number of events taking place across Wisconsin over the next two months that provide an opportunity to learn more about suicide prevention. You can learn about prevention and public events offering awareness and support at:
We want to take a minute to thank Y.E.S. (Youth Emotional Stability) of Rock County for their financial support of the S.O.S. (Signs of Suicide) program that the School District of Janesville has initiated at our middle and high schools. This program reaches students in Grades 6 and 9 and trains staff in suicide prevention. Our Grade 8 Health teachers provide a unit on suicide prevention as part of their curriculum. Student Services staff have expertise in supporting students in crisis and can help with your questions and concerns.
Our staff viewed the following video as part of the School District of Janesville staff training. Please share our experience by viewing this message from young people on paying attention and saving lives.
Thank you for all that you do for each other and for our students and families!