Ben Rosen
Director of Public Information
NYS Office of Mental Health
518-474-6540- Phone
518-473-3456- Fax
September 12, 2013


As part of National Suicide Prevention Week, New York’s effort aimed at increasing awareness and providing immediate help to vulnerable individuals

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) today outlined resources and initiatives offered by New York State to help prevent suicide. To extend the reach of the New York State Suicide Prevention Initiative, OMH announced the availability of the free "Safety Plan" app for iOS, designed to provide individuals with an emergency plan and prevention resources for suicide crises.   

"Suicide is a tragic, heart wrenching cause of death that causes deep and lasting pain throughout New York communities and beyond," said OMH Acting Commissioner John Tauriello. "With more Americans completing suicide than dying in car accidents, it is clear this is a crisis that we must work to prevent.  I urge New Yorkers to recognize the warning signs that can lead to suicide, be it depression, substance abuse, or mental illness and help prevent suicides before they occur."

In May 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing the alarming rate of suicide among middle-age Americans. The report is available here.  While the suicide rate in New York one of the lowest in the nation – 7.1 per 100,000 residents – the national rate being 12.4 per 100,000 residents – it is important to continue to work hard to prevent suicide.

To help at-risk individuals in New York State and throughout the world prevent suicide, the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), along with the New York State Psychiatric Institute, the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene and the New York State Suicide Prevention Initiative, created the free "Safety Plan" app for iOS devices (iPod, iPod Touch and iPad). This free application helps individuals identify suicide warning signs, create coping strategies, identify positive contacts and social settings to distract from the crisis, identify family members and friends available to help, find professional help and resources, and make their environment safe from lethal means that may be used in a suicide attempt. The app is available here. Alternate versions of this application for Android-compatible devices will be available in the coming months.

Since 2004, OMH has held more than 5000 suicide prevention training sessions for individuals, students, clinicians, educators, social services organizations and public safety officials. OMH offers six distinct training programs in suicide prevention, including the training of other suicide prevention trainers and teachers in how to identify the warning signs and get at-risk individuals the help they need. Most notable is the Applied Suicide Intervention Training which offers free classes to any and all interested parties, multiple times per week in regions throughout New York.

For those interested in suicide prevention training, please visit: for more information. 

Statewide and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800-273-TALK (8255), TTY: 800-799-4889

Suicide Crisis Telephone Numbers for New York State by County:

New York, both currently and historically, has the either the lowest or the second lowest suicide rate in the Nation, dating back to at least 2004.  The New York State overall rate in 2011 (the most current year for which DOH data is available) was 7.1 per 100,000 residents. The current National rate is 12.4 per 100,000 residents.   Of this 7.1 per 100,000 residents, 6.1 per 100,000 use a firearm to complete suicide. By keeping guns out of the hands of individuals who are a risk to themselves or others, the NY SAFE Act will likely lessen this number and reduce the suicide rate in New York State even further.   Age 45-54 is the most common age range for suicides, as these individuals are the least likely to seek help. Of this group, White Males are 400% more likely than White Females, the second highest group, to complete suicide. In 2011, it was 288 males and 74 females.

OMH's Suicide Prevention Initiative wholly funds the Suicide Prevention Center of New York, which is a one-stop resource, training and outreach organization.

OMH is a part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Program, giving individuals at-risk someone to talk to, 24 hours a day/7 days a week. or 1-800-273-TALK.

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