Suicide Facts and General Information

Does suicide really needs to be addressed in Fond du Lac County?


A driving factor behind the Destination Zero initiative was the knowledge that Fond du Lac County residents die by suicide at a higher rate than either the state or national level, that the number of suicides has risen over the last 5 years, and that some within our county are at higher risk.

However, there is hope.

Working together, we can take steps towards eliminating the tragic burden of suicide in our county by

  • Using a common language to discuss suicide and effectively support those who are struggling
  • Understanding the available data about suicide at the local, state, and national levels
  • Learning the risk factors & warning signs of suicide
  • Knowing the facts regarding suicidal behaviors, prevention methods, and treatment


Suicide is defined as someone taking his or her own life with conscious intent by lethal means such as a firearm, poisoning, suffocation or other self injury. When discussing suicide, it is important that our word choices are both sensitive and accurate.

“Died by suicide”

The term “committed suicide” implies a level of criminality, and can perpetuate stigma. Using the words “successful” or “failed” to describe suicide is also discouraged, as they create the illusion that dying by suicide is a good thing. Preferred terms include: died by suicide, suicide death, and non-fatal suicide attempt.

Research has shown that  how we talk about, write about and report on suicide matters.

More Information about Suicide Language and Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide

Click on these images for current suicide-related statistics for Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, and the United States:

Fond du Lac County Fact Sheet

United States Statistics