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NY Suicide Prevention Task Force Holds First Meeting

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  • Staff Report 

The New York State Office of Mental Health announced that the reconvened Suicide Prevention Task Force held its first meeting this month, with 32 members participating. The task force, overseen by the agency, aims to address social isolation, depression, and anxiety, particularly in communities of color.

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“Suicide claimed the lives of 1,765 New Yorkers in 2022,” said Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “The task force will work on culturally competent solutions to improve mental wellbeing for all New Yorkers, focusing on high school-aged youth, especially girls, Black teens, and LGBTQ+ students who report persistent sadness or suicidal thoughts.”

The task force will conduct six virtual sessions bi-monthly. In its inaugural meeting, members highlighted the need for an equitable suicide prevention plan, focusing on diversity in mental health services, reducing stigma, improving access to comprehensive mental health care, and addressing structural issues. Established in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Center of New York, the task force will build on the 2017 recommendations to strengthen public health approaches, enhance health system competencies, and improve data surveillance.