Kenosha County Suicide Prevention Initiative

Creating a model to reduce suicides and self-harm in Kenosha County

Full Project Name:Kenosha County Suicide Prevention InitiativePrimary Community Organization:Kenosha County Division of HealthPrimary Academic Partner:Amy Zosel, MD, Emergency MedicineAward Amount:$748,267
Award Date
January2012
Project Duration:54 months

Project Description Narrative:


In 2009, suicide was the second leading cause of injury-related deaths in Wisconsin. While the suicide rate in Kenosha County declined from 18.51 in 2007 to 11.01 in 2009, suicide remains the third leading cause of injury-related deaths. However, the leading cause of suicide changed, with poisonings becoming significantly more prevalent in Kenosha County in 2008 and 2009, accounting for 35% of all injury-related deaths in 2008 and 40% in 2009.

Through this award, project partners aim to reduce the number of poisonings, suicides, and self-harm in Kenosha County by supporting evidence-based interventions that work to increase screening, referrals and treatment.

Community partners:
American College of Emergency Physicians-WI Chapter, Aurora Health Care Kenosha Emergency Department, Carthage College, Dayton Residential Care, Division of Aging and Disability Services-Resource Center, First Step Services, Inc., First United Methodist Church, Gateway Technical College, Holy Spirit Community Church, James A Lovell FHCC, Just Live Inc., Kenosha Community Health Center, Kenosha County Aging and Disability Resource Center, Kenosha County Medical Examiner’s Office, Kenosha County Sheriff Department, Kenosha Human Development Services-Crisis, Kenosha National Alliance on Mental Illness, Kenosha Police Department, Kenosha Unified School District, Mental Health America of Wisconsin, Oakwood Clinical Associates, Inc., Pleasant Prairie Police Department, Rogers Memorial Hospital, Racine National Alliance on Mental Illness, United Hospital System-Kenosha Medical Center Emergency Department and St. Catherine’s Medical Center Emergency Department, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Wheaton Franciscan Health Care

Additional MCW academic partners:
David Clark, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Office of Research; Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH, Emergency Medicine; Amy Schlotthauer, Emergency Medicine

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Supported and extended the reach of efforts to prevent access to methods of self-harm, partnering with three local hospitals to provide educational sessions to physicians on the benefits of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) and how to access it

• Expanded prevention efforts through the Kenosha County Suicide Prevention Coalition and formation of a Self-harm and Death Analysis Review Team (SDART) and SDART toolkit, using case reviews to identify potential gaps in service, create lasting linkages across agencies. As a result of this work, Kenosha County Division of Health was identified as a model site and collaborating partner for a Wisconsin Department of Health Services grant to take SDART model statewide for implementation in other counties

• Increased identification, referral, and treatment of persons at risk for suicide and self-harm by conducting over 150 QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) trainings with over 6,300 community members and professionals. Project partners also brought additional trainings to the community, including Honest Open and Proud and Suicide Bereavement Clinician Training

• Distributed resource materials at resource fairs and informational sessions, including a community resource card, mental health guide, counseling services sheet, grief guide, and survivor packets

• Disseminated project results through presentations and publications, including presenting at the 2016 Crisis Conference and Prevent Suicide Wisconsin Conference, and publishing survey results in the Wisconsin Medical Journal

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