Gov. Kathy Hochul announced several new programs and a digital campaign to raise awareness of the increasing suicide rates amongst children and teens.
“Every suicide is a tragedy, especially because suicide can be prevented,” Hochul said. “As we recognize Suicide Prevention Month, I urge all New Yorkers to know the warning signs and how they can reach out for immediate help, for themselves or for others.”
Although New York state has one of the lowest suicide rates in the nation, 1,700 New Yorkers are lost from suicide each year. Suicide rates have increased over the past year, specifically in children and teenagers who have had online learning for school due to the restrictions of COVID-19. attribution.
Hochul’s launching of suicide prevention programs emphasizes that New York, “as a community and as a state, need to support our children and families to help ensure happiness and success.”
New York has a history of innovation in suicide prevention, including establishment of the New York State Suicide Prevention Task Force in November 2017.
Due to increasing numbers and risks regarding children and teenagers during the pandemic Hochul named September 10 Suicide Prevention day in New York and has been running a digital campaign run for the entirety of September.
This campaign will focus on the importance of creating healthy and positive social relationships through individual, family, and the community to aid in suicide prevention and awareness. Ads for SPCNY web pages will be placed throughout the campaign to give people information and resources about topics including ageism and its impact on mental health.
Throughout September, the Crisis Text Line is being promoted by the Office of Mental Health on multiple media platforms including YouTube and Facebook. The Crisis Text Line allows for people to be given free support while remaining protected and anonymous.
The OMH launched a program called“Sources of Strength” to help train a wide variety of students to be peer leaders and connect them with trusted adult advisors at their schools and in their communities. The program promotes healthy coping norms and youth-adult connections, including seeking help for distress and suicide concerns.
School districts are being asked to promote the Crisis Text Line using social media, email, posters and signs.
The Office of Mental Health’s Suicide Prevention Center of New York will host a suicide prevention symposium from Tuesday, September 28 through Thursday, September 30. The virtual symposium, titled “AIM for Zero: Suicide Care is Healthcare” will bring together experts to discuss the impact and importance of the Zero Suicide framework in health care systems and the importance of equity and inclusivity.