The Capital Region will receive a $5 million grant for suicide prevention among vulnerable groups in four counties.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced the grant Thursday, which is aimed at reducing suicide among vulnerable groups in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga County.
“While our state’s mental health resources are among the best in the nation, we still lose far too many New Yorkers to suicide each year,” Hochul said in a statement. “Through a targeted approach to prevention, we can better identify the groups and industries most at risk and ensure they have access to resources, and this $5 million grant announced today will help us provide essential support and foster connections between vulnerable people throughout the Capital Region. ”
The grant-funded initiative, Capital Connect, is designed to use data from state agencies and local partners to identify at-risk groups for targeted prevention efforts in the four counties. Capital Connect’s goal is to reduce suicide attempts and deaths among vulnerable groups by 10%.
The NYC Office of Mental Health’s Center for Suicide Prevention partners with the state Department of Health and the state Department of Labor to identify groups and industries most at risk for suicide. The various agencies will work with schools, county mental health juvenile justice, local hospital emergency departments and the area’s construction industry to help focus efforts in the four-county area, where suicide attempts and death rates exceed the state average.
“Coping with stress and anxiety due to factors such as employment status, housing instability, and personal well-being has aggravated unresolved mental health issues and, sadly, suicides in the underserved communities,” said Mary Bassett, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. said in a statement. “The Capital Connect program will help reduce inequalities in behavioral health services further amplified by COVID-19 and prevent suicides.”
The grant will fund county-level activities to increase access to evidence-based suicide prevention programs in underserved county communities. The governor’s announcement did not specify what those activities or programs were.
The Capital Connect program will also work with schools to provide suicide prevention needs assessments, consultations and training options.
“Using research and data to identify vulnerable people and at-risk groups will increase service effectiveness and strengthen access to evidence-based programs in historically underserved communities,” said the mayor of Schenectady, Gary McCarthy, in a statement.
Grant-funded activities in the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy will help increase access to services in communities of color, according to the governor’s announcement.
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