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MCW Division of Suicide Research and Healing Research

The research conducted by the Division of Suicide Research and Healing centers around suicide, suicide prevention, and supporting suicide-loss survivors. Their research includes focuses on:
  • Data to understand the burden of suicide in Wisconsin, e.g., number of suicides in a year, demographics of those who die by suicide, areas of the state where suicide deaths occur, health equity and disparities surrounding suicide, and comorbidities associated with suicide
  • The complex factors that may contribute to suicide
  • Evaluation of evidence-based suicide prevention programs
  • Need and effectiveness of support programs for suicide-loss survivors
  • Best ways to support local communities in suicide prevention efforts

We seek to advance the science of suicide and suicide prevention through novel discovery.

Our work focuses on understanding factors contributing to suicide, and how to prevent suicide.

Seeking Peer Outreach

Seeking Peer Outreach is a peer-based mental health support program for medical, graduate, and pharmacy students at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Students are trained to serve as peer supporters and are available to serve as resources to their peers as they encounter stress or other mental health challenges. While Seeking Peer Outreach is not a crisis service, it does provide early intervention for mental health challenges, which can help to prevent these challenges from escalating to a crisis.
SPO* is based on a tiered approach which aligns with the three levels of prevention (primary, secondary, and tertiary). By implementing strategies at these three levels, we are ensuring that our efforts reach our entire student population, including those who might be experiencing a mental health challenging and those in a suicide crisis.
Community Readiness Assessment Image Text Split

Community Readiness Assessment

This community readiness assessment was conducted in 2023 and aimed to answer the question, “What is our community’s level of readiness to tackle suicide prevention as a health priority?” Twenty-six interviews were conducted with individuals from across Milwaukee County, and across a number of stakeholder groups, from individuals with lived experience to first responders to educators.

Our findings present an opportunity for agencies engaging in suicide prevention to plan future activities focusing on building awareness around suicide as a health issue affecting Milwaukee County residents, and reminding community members that suicide prevention is everyone’s business.

Thank you to all of the individuals who offered their time and insights to make this assessment possible.

Suicide Review

A suicide review team is a group of local multi-disciplinary organizational representatives who come together to discuss risk factors and circumstances surrounding a death by suicide in order to recommend local prevention strategies. Suicide review is intended to be a “deep dive” of a suicide case, using all available data and information to understand the factors that preceded the death by suicide.
Learn About the City of Milwaukee Suicide Review Commission

Dr. Kohlbeck's Publications

Contact the Division of Suicide Research and Healing

We would love to chat with you about any of our research or programming! Contact us using the information below.

Sara Kohlbeck, PhD, MPH

(414) 955-7667

Tricia Monroe, MEd, CHES

Postvention Program Manager

Jacey Kant, BS

Research Program Coordinator