WAUSAU, WI (OnFocus) – The Marathon County Medical Examiner’s Office and Marathon County Health Department are partnering to create a Suicide Death Review Team (SDRT) as part of an effort to review prevention initiatives and recommend potential improvements. The formation of the SDRT is another important step in addressing mental health illness in Marathon County, which was identified as a community health priority in the county’s Community Health Improvement Plan.
The Review Team will be comprised of local community partners who are dedicated to suicide prevention and mental health services in Marathon County. These partners include local law enforcement agencies, mental health providers, health care systems, emergency medical services, and numerous other community partners and agencies. Currently, only five other counties in Wisconsin have a SDRT.
Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death nationwide. According to the CDC, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for young people, and the 12th leading cause of death for adults in the United States. In 2021, Marathon County had 21 deaths from suicide. To date in 2022, there have been 16 deaths from suicide.
The purpose of the SDRT is to review and form recommendations for prevention initiatives based upon the circumstances surrounding the deaths. The main goals of the SDRT are:
- Identify opportunities to strengthen existing community resources for mental health services.
- Provide improved services to the families impacted by their loss.
- Improve community understanding of suicide and resources available.
- Reduce the stigma around mental health and suicide.
- Provide recommendations to community organizations based upon review findings.
- Identify opportunities for legislative policy or practice initiatives to expand efforts to prevent future deaths.
Suicide continues to impact our communities nationwide; however, with collective commitment, we can enhance understanding and improve prevention of this devastating outcome.
We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!