WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

NY Awarded $13.5M in Suicide Prevention Funding


The State Office of Mental Health has received two federal grants totaling $13.5 million to expand access to mental and behavioral health services in primary care practices for youth and to implement the ‘Zero Suicide’ model at 13 certified community behavioral health clinics across the state. The awards were announced following the New York State Suicide Prevention Conference in Albany, with the theme, ‘Changing the Conversation on Youth Mental Health: From Crisis to Prevention.’

“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. “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.”

New York State was awarded $10 million over five years to expand the collaborative care model – a holistic team-based approach to treating mental health conditions – at 15 youth-serving primary care practices, with a specific focus on advancing health equity. Funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the initiative will address mental and behavioral health problems among youth with co-occurring serious emotional disturbance and physical health conditions or chronic disease, with the goal of ensuring equitable access to underserved populations.

Along with technical assistance and support, participating primary care practices will also receive training in suicide prevention. Administered by the Office of Mental Health, a significant portion of the funding will be aimed at overcoming workforce shortages and developing a sustainable model.

In addition, the Office of Mental Health also received a five-year, $3.5 million federal grant to expand the Zero Suicide model – a systemic approach toward integrating suicide prevention in the health care system – among 13 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. One of 15 awardees nationwide, the state will use the funding to reduce suicide attempts and deaths among individuals 18 or older in the areas served by these clinics, with the anticipation of helping roughly 50,000 individuals over the course of the grant.

Governor Hochul’s mental health care plan will more than triple the number of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics across the state to serve roughly 200,000 New Yorkers. First established in 2022, these clinics provide comprehensive services for those requiring behavioral health support, specifically coordinating care across behavioral, physical health, and social service systems.

Earlier this year, he U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued its Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which found alarming mental health trends among high school-aged youth between 2011 and 2021 – especially among teen girls. Nearly a third of teen girls seriously considered attempting suicide in 2021, an increase from 19 percent the prior decade; about three in five felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021, which was twice the rate of teen boys and represents a nearly 60 percent increase over the rate recorded in 2011.

The report also found that youth from marginalized populations are more likely to suffer mental health issues: More than half of LGBTQ+ students expressed having poor mental health, with one in five reporting having attempted suicide in the past year. Suicide attempts were also elevated among Black youth when compared to White youth, according to the report.

More than 400 advocates, school staff, and service providers attended the Suicide Prevention Conference in Albany on October 17, to discuss efforts underway to help address the youth mental health crisis in New York and reverse alarming trends throughout the state. The one-day conference highlighted key components in a comprehensive response to this crisis, including changing the way mental health is discussed in schools, communities and in the workplace.

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.