NYS Pushes Suicide Prevention Strategy

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Celia Clarke/WSKG News

Chart from the NYS Office of Mental Health illustrating Zero Suicide philosophy

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) — On Monday, officials from the New York State Office of Mental Health visited Ithaca to tell the public about a suicide prevention strategy.

The approach is called Zero Suicide. Its goal is to prevent suicide deaths for people who already have access to the healthcare system.

The state’s Office of Mental Health found that 45 percent of New Yorkers who commit suicide do so within a month after visiting their primary care doctor.

Part of the approach is to get all providers (primary, specialist, in the emergency room, etc.) to ask all patients if they are having suicidal feelings. A patient’s response is included in their medical records and shared with all their providers.

The strategy also relies on organizations to train staff on what to do when someone answers yes.

Five health organizations in Tompkins County have committed to the Zero Suicide strategy.

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