Governor Hochul announces new youth suicide prevention funding

$13.5 Million to expand suicide care across state

ALBANY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — On Wednesday, Governor Hochul announced that the state has received funding to expand access to mental and behavioral health services. Part of the federal funding will help expand collaborative care at 15 primary care practices focused on serving patients 18 and younger.

The New York State Office of Mental Health received two grants totaling over $13 million. The announcement was made following the New York State Suicide Prevention Conference in Albany. Over 400 advocates, school staff, and service providers attended the conference, which highlighted the response to growing suicide rates.

“Now more than ever, we must acknowledge that mental health is a basic human right and that we must do more to help New Yorkers – especially our young people – before they reach a point of crisis,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. “With this federal funding, we redouble our commitment to improving the mental health care system in our state and to ensuring all New Yorkers –especially our youth and those from vulnerable populations – have access to the stigma-free resources they can rely on to maintain positive mental well-being.”

Additionally, the $10 million from the United States Department of Health and Human Services will be used to provide participating primary care practices with training in suicide prevention. Funding will also be used to overcome workforce shortages and develop a sustainable model for suicide prevention.

The Office of Mental Health also received just over $3 million in another federal grant to expand the Zero Suicide Model at 13 certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics across the state. The Zero Suicide Model aims to help integrate suicide prevention into the health care system. The Office was just one of 15 awardees nationwide and will use the funding to reduce suicide rates in areas serviced by those clinics. The Office also anticipates that it will help roughly 50,000 individuals throughout the grant.

“We must do more to support the mental well-being of our youth – especially among marginalized populations,” New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said in a statement. “Governor Hochul’s landmark plan provides both an evidenced-based blueprint to improve our state’s mental health system and provides the funding to build these services and supports.”

The grants will help to further Governor Hochul’s goal to overhaul New York’s mental health care system and address the mental health needs of New York State youth over the next five years. The governor has already secured more than $30 million in this year’s budget to expand mental health services for school-aged children and $10 million to strengthen suicide prevention programs for high-risk youth.

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