Capital Region

Capital Region awarded $5M suicide prevention grant

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in July

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in July

CAPITAL REGION The Capital Region will receive a $5 million grant for suicide prevention in vulnerable groups across four counties.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday the grant, 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. “With a focused approach to prevention, we can better identify groups and industries most at risk and ensure they have access to resources, and this $5 million grant announced today will help us provide critical support and foster connections among vulnerable individuals 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 focused prevention efforts in the four counties. The goal of Capital Connect is to reduce suicide attempts and deaths among vulnerable groups by 10%.

The Office of Mental Health’s Suicide Prevention Center of New York is partnering with the state Department of Health and the State Department of labor to identify the groups and industries which are most at-risk for suicide. The different 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 region, where suicide attempts and death rates exceed the state average.

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“Coping with stress and anxiety due to such things as employment status, housing instability, and personal well-being has all added to more unaddressed mental health problems and, unfortunately, suicides in underserved communities,” New York State Department of Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a statement. “The Capital Connect program will help reduce inequities in behavioral health services further amplified by COVID-19 and prevent suicides.”

The grant will fund activities in the counties to increase access to evidence-based suicide prevention programs in underserved communities in the counties. The governor’s announcement did not specify what those activities or programs were.

The Capital Connect program will also be working with schools to provide suicide prevention needs assessments, consultations and training options.

“The use of research and data to identify vulnerable individuals and at-risk groups will increase the efficiency of services and strengthen access to evidence-based programs in historically underserved communities,” Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said in a statement.

Grant-funded activities in the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy will work to increase access to services in communities of color, according to the governor’s announcement.

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Categories: News, News, Schenectady County

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