Preventing Suicide After Traumatic Self-Injury Study

Suicide Prevention Research and the Milwaukee Trauma Outcomes Project

Thank you for visiting this website for additional information about suicide prevention research at Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and the Milwaukee Trauma Outcomes Project (MTOP). We hope you will find this information useful, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed here. We are currently recruiting participants for the Preventing Suicide After Traumatic Self-Injury Study (P-SATS).

The purpose of the P-SATS study is to understand risk factors for suicide in order to inform suicide prevention. In order to gather this information, we are contacting individuals who knew someone who died from suicide in Milwaukee County to invite them to participate in an interview. If you choose to participate, we will have a conversation with you to ask some questions about the history of the person who died from suicide and how they were acting in the days and months leading up to their death.

We understand that this is a difficult topic to discuss. Thank you for taking the time to consider participating in this life-saving research. For more information, please contact Jacey Kant at (414) 573-8267 or Andrew Schramm at (414) 955-1743, or see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Study Team

Andrew Schramm, PhD

Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator

Sara Kohlbeck, MPH

Director of the Division of Suicide Prevention, Comprehensive Injury Center

Jacey Kant, BS

Clinical Research Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I am interested in participating or want additional information?
Please call, text, or e-mail us using the information above to get in touch. We are happy to answer any questions you have or to schedule an interview. 
What will happen if I choose to participate?
If you are contacted to participate in the study and agree to participate, we will schedule a conversation with you to ask questions about the person who died from suicide. You will have the option of either talking with our team in person or virtually. Virtual interviews can be done over a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom, while in-person interviews will be done at Medical College of Wisconsin or a location most convenient to you. Interviews last about an hour, and you will be asked various questions about your loved one who died by suicide, including the history of that person and how they were acting in the time leading up to their deaths. The interview will be recorded but will not be kept indefinitely. 
Why are you doing interviews? Will this actually help prevent suicide?
A challenge in suicide prevention research is that we do not have the benefit of asking the person who died from suicide what happened prior to their death. Because of this, the perspective of individuals who knew the person who died from suicide is extremely valuable. The interview questions we are asking are the gold standard and were developed by the American Association for Suicidology. In order to prevent suicide, we have to understand the experiences, mindsets, and stressors that place someone at risk for suicide. Completing these interviews with people who know someone who died by suicide will provide us with this crucial information. 
Why are you recording the interview?
Recordings are done for the purpose of ensuring data quality. Although we will be taking notes during the interview, we want to make sure we don’t miss anything. After transcribing the recording, we will code the interviews so that we can analyze the data we gathered. After transcription, the recordings will be destroyed.  
What will I get for participating? What are the risks?
You will be compensated $25 for your time and participation. Additionally, some participants report finding it a meaningful experience to contribute to suicide prevention research. We will also provide you with information about suicide prevention resources and mental health services. The main risk of participating is distress related to discussing a suicide loss. If participating becomes overwhelming or this distress is too intense, we can take a break or stop the interview at any time.  
Is participation required?
No. The study is completely voluntary, and you may decline to participate. If you previously agreed to the study but changed your mind, you may opt out at any time without penalty. 
How did you get my information?
In order to achieve our goals of gathering data to prevent suicide, we have formed a collaboration with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office (MCMEO). We obtained information on individuals whose deaths were believed to be suicides between the years of 2002 and 2020. We then gathered contact information for the next of kin or individuals who were contacted by MCMEO after the person died. Additionally, we may have gotten your contact information from someone who participated in the study and thought that your perspective would be informative. We hope to speak with multiple people who knew the person who died.  
I am interested in participating but haven’t been contacted—can I still participate?
If you believe you may be eligible to participate but have not been contacted, it may be that we have outdated contact information. Please contact us if you believe that you may qualify and wish to participate. 
I am not interested and don’t wish to be contacted about the study, what should I do?
We respect your decision not to participate. To ensure that you do not receive further contact about the study, please call, text, ore-mail us using the information below with your name. We will remove you from our contact list.  
Who can I contact if I have more questions about the study?
You can contact our research assistant Jacey Kant by calling or texting (414) 573-8267 or by email at You can also call Dr. Andrew Schramm at (414) 955-1743. All inquiries after hours or on weekends will be answered the next business day.