Groups seek to destigmatize mental illness and highlight resources.
Since 2003, 52 Wisconsin county jail inmates have taken their own lives. Department of Corrections jail inspector Nancy Thelen said that generally, Wisconsin’s 72 county-run jails are doing “a very good job with their suicide watches.”
But a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism review of the counties’ most recent jail inspection records found that at least one-third of them had, like Monroe County, been cited for problems with their suicide prevention efforts.
Experts say Wisconsin’s high suicide rate, relative to those of neighboring states, could be linked to a high rate of binge drinking, easy access to firearms and lack of available mental health care, especially in rural areas.