The Office of Mental Health has reconvened the New York State Suicide Prevention Task Force.
The task force will work to bolster suicide prevention efforts statewide to address concerns of social isolation, depression, and anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also focus on helping at-risk populations, such as communities of color.
“Countless New Yorkers had their mental wellness strained and profoundly impacted by the pandemic,” Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said. “This pandemic also highlighted the disparities in care that exist for at-risk communities. This Task Force will build on existing prevention strategies and elevate the voices of individuals in these communities to develop recommendations to ensure a more equitable and inclusive suicide prevention plan in New York State.”
The office says 1,660 New Yorkers committed suicide in 2021. They add suicide is the second leading cause of death in those between the ages of 25 and 34 and the third for those 10-24.
This task force will build upon the work done by the state’s first suicide prevention task force which was created in 2017 and delivered its final report in 2019.