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James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

September 18, 2019

Office of Mental Health Recognizes Chautauqua County Widow for her Commitment to Suicide Prevention Efforts

Carri Raynor Honored for Exemplary Advocacy Work as a Suicide Loss Survivor

Albany, NY – Carri Raynor, of Chautauqua County, has been awarded the New York State Office of Mental Health’s (OMH) “Excellence in Suicide Prevention: Journey of Healing Award”. 

Carri was recognized during OMH’s fourth annual New York State Suicide Prevention Conference, at which keynote speakers and 30 breakout sessions focused on strengthening suicide prevention through state and local partnerships, including those that target diverse, at-risk groups.

“Carri has taken her experience as a suicide loss survivor and created a community event and atmosphere that honors her husband’s memory and raises awareness that suicidal thoughts can affect anybody,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan. “Carri’s personal journey of healing has brought hope to others, showing what can happen when we strive to make difference.”

Each year, Carri organizes and volunteers at the Raynor Memorial Golf Tournament, in memory of her late husband, Dan Raynor. More than $100,000 has been raised at the event since it started in 2013.

Carri is an avid volunteer for other suicide prevention awareness events in the county, has been involved in the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention and is an integral part of the group’s postvention team. She is also the facilitator of the Healing After Suicide Loss Group- a bimonthly support group that addresses the complex grieving process after losing a loved one to suicide.

She was recently hired as a community facilitator for the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention, where she will lead support groups, organize awareness events and engage with other community advocacy efforts.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition from New York State’s Office of Mental Health and the Suicide Prevention Office,” said suicide loss survivor, Carri Raynor. “Waking up each day without my husband is a challenge no matter how much time passes by, but I wake up knowing he lives on through my passion to save lives and prevent suicides. May that passion be sparked in every New Yorker… we all have a role to play.”

Ann Rosenthal, of Chatauqua Tapestry, nominated Carri for the award.

“Carri’s message is that thoughts of suicide can affect anyone at any given time, and we must learn the signs and know what to say,” says Ann. “She often shares her personal story, how losing her husband has affected her entire family, while creating an overall feeling of hope that suicide is preventable.”

For more information on the Raynor Memorial Golf Tournament, visit their Facebook page.

Suicide Prevention in NYS Schools

In August 2019, the Suicide Prevention Center of New York released the first ever Guide to Suicide Prevention Guide for NYS Schools. This guide was developed by the Schools and Youth Workgroup of the Suicide Prevention Council at New York State Office of Mental Health to provide best practice guidance and resources to schools toward the prevention of youth suicide. 

New York State Suicide Prevention Task Force Report

OMH is the lead agency for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Suicide Prevention Task Force, which includes leaders from state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit groups, and other recognized experts in suicide prevention. In May, the Task Force released its first report, which focuses on bridging gaps in current state suicide prevention efforts, and on building coalitions and supporting the efforts of local governments and advocates.

National Leader in Suicide Prevention

New York’s suicide prevention efforts have been recognized by the Federal Government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which recently awarded OMH with a grant to support our efforts.

Suicide Prevention Training Opportunities

Suicide Prevention trainings are available throughout New York State. Community groups can register for a suicide prevention training course through the Suicide Prevention Center of NY. Clinical trainings on best practices for suicide prevention can be accessed through the Center for Practice Innovation.

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