Ben Rosen
Director of Public Information
NYS Office of Mental Health

March 01, 2016

Office of Mental Health Announces Upcoming Suicide Prevention Training Events

Training Courses Available for Families, Educators, and Peers through Suicide Prevention Center of New York

(Albany, NY) The New York State Office of Mental Health today announced upcoming suicide prevention training courses occurring throughout New York State. These free or low-cost training sessions are both scheduled and available by request in every county of the state. Various trainings are available for the general public in addition to targeted trainings for teachers, nurses, police officers and teens.

“In the last 3 years, the Office of Mental Health has provided suicide prevention education to over 33,000 New Yorkers, enabling them to identify at-risk individuals and provide referrals to expert resources,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan. “The more people that are trained to identify signs of suicidal thoughts, the stronger New York communities become at helping people who are thinking about ending their lives.”

The trainings are made available through the Suicide Prevention Center of New York (SPCNY) which collaborates with, and is fully funded by, the Office of Mental Health. The Office of Mental Health provides $1.5 million annually to SPCNY for the promotion of suicide prevention education in New York State.

“The Office of Mental Health recognizes that community support is paramount for individuals who may be contemplating suicide. By offering this service, we are helping New Yorkers save lives,” said SPCNY Executive Director Marcia Fazio. “Everyone can benefit from these trainings. You never know when you may encounter someone who is thinking about suicide and this knowledge gives you the skills you need to get them the help they need.”

There are free public training courses scheduled for March in the following locations: Brentwood, Elmira, Goshen, Malone, and Manhattan. These upcoming trainings include two specific courses: SafeTALK and QPR.

  • SafeTALK is a 3-hour training that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to identify people who have suicidal thoughts and connect them to suicide first aid resources.
  • Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) is a practical suicide prevention training, along the lines of CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver, that trains New Yorkers to recognize the warning signs, question the at-risk individual, and persuade that individual to find help.

SPCNY also offers 'Lifelines', a school-based suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention program and 'ASIST', a two-day intensive and interactive course for caregivers that instructs participants how to recognize the signs of suicidal behavior, review the risks, and intervene. Other SPCNY trainings include specialized programs for professional groups as well as programs to help New York residents assist people who have lost a loved one to suicide. For additional details on the training programs offered by SPCNY, please visit:!trainingprograms/c21kz.

To find a training course near you, visit:!trainingcalendar/c8lb. To contact the Suicide Prevention Center of New York about hosting a training session near you or to receive valuable suicide prevention resources, please email:

New York State is a part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, giving at-risk individuals someone to talk to, 24 hours a day/7 days a week. In crisis? Call 1-800-273-TALK or visit


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