A statewide task force on suicide prevention has revealed their first findings since it was created by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2017. The report will give New York state a blueprint to strengthen efforts to save lives among the most high-risk groups within our community. 

The role of the task force was to review current programs and services involving suicide prevention in order to identify gaps in resources.

“Strengthen the healthcare system ability to really effectively treat individuals that are at high risk and we need to be doing more prevention programs to reduce the number of people who may reach a point of considering suicide,” said Dr. Peter Wyman, Co-Chair of the Suicide Prevention Taskforce.

According to the 50-page report, it breaks down the most at-risk populations of committing suicide in the state. Those included, veterans, Latina adolescents and members within the LGBTQ+ community.
Out Alliance in Rochester says transgender people are the most vulnerable when it comes to suicide. 

“It can definitely take a toll emotionally and physically,” said Tamara Leigh, Communications Director. “Especially with people who aren’t receiving a lot of support, they don’t have a lot of support network. So we try to stand in the gap there.”

Since the report was finalized, the state legislature has already passed the Gender Expression Nondiscrimination act. But even with that in place, Leigh says more needs to be done when it comes to resources and funding. 

“Without the availability of necessary funding to be able to close those gaps, so people don’t get lost in the system that people can reach out to help and receive it, it’s everything it means everything,” said Leigh. 

Another big concern that needs to be addressed moving forward with suicide prevention, is having complete and accurate data on suicide deaths and attempts that includes the surrounding circumstances of it.

“There’s often a two to three year lag in when that data is available and that’s critical for local communities to make prevention and programming choices for allocation of resources by the state,” said Wyman. 

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It’s available 24 hours a day.

Link to the Taskforce report: https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/resources/publications/suicide-prevention-task-force-report.pdf’