Facts about suicide in our County and state

  • Compared to state averages, Columbia County has higher rates of suicide and suicide attempts.
  • In 2011-12, twenty four people died by suicide in Columbia County, an average of one person per month.
  • For every death by suicide, there are an estimated 25 suicide attempts.
  • 7-15% of suicides in Wisconsin are identified as Veterans
  • Adult men are more likely to commit suicide than adult women

Along with concerned citizens, members of the following local organizations regularly attend Prevent Suicide Columbia County meetings.  Join us!  All are welcome.

  • Columbia County Health and Human Services
  • Counseling Centers:  Compass Counseling, Pauquette Center for Psychological Services
  • School Districts:  Cambria-Friesland, Fall River, Lodi, Pardeeville, Portage, Poynette, and Wisconsin Dells
  • Law Enforcement:  Portage Police Department and the Columbia County Sheriff's Department
  • Health Care:  Divine Savior Healthcare, UW Healthcare
  • Elected Officials

Member organizations

News and events

help save a life




Prevent Suicide Columbia County E-News

  • Suicide is the second most common cause of death after car accidents for Wisconsin youth.
  • For middle and high school students, females and minorities are more likely to be depressed, contemplate suicide, and attempt it than males and whites.
  • A 2012 survey revealed that within the previous 12 months, 30% of female high school students in Wisconsin reported feeling sad or hopeless for 2 weeks in a row; 17% had seriously considered suicide, and 8% had attempted it.

Click  here  for other crisis lines and resources.

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Stay up to date on the latest news and information from Prevent Suicide Columbia County.  Simply send us and email with "subscribe" as your subject.  If you'd like, include in the body of the email your name, organization (if applicable), mailing address, and phone number.  Personal information will not be shared with anyone outside of Prevent Suicide Columbia County.

Recognize the signs of suicide and depression.  Get trained in QPR-- learn how to "Ask a question and save a life." Find out about community resources. Get a free gun lock and discard of your unneeded prescription drugs. Make a donation.  Give hope. Become a partner in preventing suicide. 

Join Us


Our Vision

is a suicide-free community where people will recognize the warning signs, intervene, and help individuals find hope.

Prevent Suicide Columbia County meets the third Thursday of each month from 1:00 to 2:30 pm at the Columbia County Law Enforcement Center at 711 E. Cook Street in Portage, Wisconsin.  See map at the bottom of the page and contact us for more information. 

  • Join us for the 2nd annual Gathering on Mental Health at Durward's Glen on May 12-13.  See below for details!
  • ​​Save the Date for our 2017 Walk for Hope: Saturday, September 23 at 10 am at the Portage High School Track. 
  • Check out our new public service announcement video, Mental Health Matters.  Scroll to the bottom to see it here.  Now playing at the Portage Movie Theatre.
  • Suicide Loss Support Groups are now meeting in Portage on the first and third Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30.  Contact us for more information.   
  • Sign up today for a free 90-minute QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) Suicide Prevention Training.  Want to teach QPR?  Contact us for scholarship information!
  • The new website for a local substance abuse coalition includes a listing of local substance abuse treatment and prevention resources: PREVENTION AND RESPONSE COLUMBIA COUNTY

meeting location

Prevent Suicide Columbia County meets the third Thursday of each month from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Columbia County Law Enforcement Center in the community room on the first floor at 711 E. Cook Street in Portage, Wisconsin, 53901.


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​​​​Register Today for Our 2nd Annual Gathering
Featuring training on Trauma-Informed Care & Honest, Open, Proud: Addressing the Stigma of Mental Health

Lodging and scholarships are available. To register or for more information, contact us or visit:

Help us promote the Gathering!  Download and share our   flyer,  half-sheet flyer (perfect for bulletins), and brochure.

Gathering Sessions:
Creating Trauma-Sensitive Communities
Friday, May 12 from 10 AM - 4 PM 
Registration begins at 9:00 AM. Lunch is included in the $25 registration fee.

Trauma is extreme stress that overwhelms a person's ability to cope. It can be a single event, a series of events, or a chronic condition, such as childhood neglect or domestic violence. Those who experience trauma as children or adults are much more likely to develop problems with mental and physical health and substance abuse. Trauma-informed communities acknowledge the role that trauma has played in people’s lives, recognize the symptoms of trauma, and shift their perspective from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you and how are you coping?"

  1. Understand types of trauma and triggers
  2. Discover positive ways to support those who have survived childhood and adult trauma
  3. Prevent re-traumatization
  4. Create a more caring congregation, organization, or agency

For anyone interested in reducing the effects of trauma, including: Leaders and members of churches, businesses, non-profits, and agencies; Service providers in the fields of mental health, healthcare, and social services; People living with mental health challenges, their families and friends; and 

Community members​

Honest, Open, and Proud: Addressing the Stigma of Mental Health 
You asked, we listened: a training just for people living with a mental health challenge.

Friday, May 12: 5:30 - 8:30 PM and Sat. May 13: 8:30 AM - noon 

 Registration begins at 5 PM Friday with snacks. Saturday’s breakfast and lunch are included in the $15 registration fee.

The #1 best practice for eliminating the stigma of mental health is for people living with these challenges is to share their stories. If you have a story to share, you may be wondering who to tell, what to say, and if there are downsides to disclosing. We’ll explore these topics and also take a look at the stories we tell ourselves to discern helpful and hurtful self-attitudes.

To register or for more information, contact us or visit: www.durwardsglen.org/events.html

Get in touch


Monthly updates of our coalition activities and suicide prevention news is available in a convenient email format.  Use the "Get in touch" contact form below to sign up for our e-news bulletins or download archived e-news here:


is to prevent suicide through awareness, education, collaboration, and improved access to mental health care, and to support those who have lost a loved one to suicide.