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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 27, 2021

OMH Announces Funding to Support Suicide Loss Survivors Awarded To Monroe County

The New York State Office of Mental Health today announced a grant to Monroe County for the development of an evidence-based program designed to help suicide loss survivors. The grant will be used to establish a Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) team in the county.

The goal of the county LOSS Team is to connect suicide loss survivors to a local suicide survivor groups and other healing resources immediately following a death by suicide. This is a targeted strategy designed for suicide prevention that ultimately helps all those impacted by a suicide loss.

To be eligible for LOSS Team funding, which is provided through OMH’s Suicide Prevention Center of NY (SPCNY) county coalition applicants had to identify an active suicide loss survivor group operating within and accessible to residents of the county, and the group must be specific to suicide loss with trained facilitators.

SPCNY will also support the startup, planning, and coordination of a Monroe County LOSS team, and will facilitate a series of two half-day trainings to qualifying coalitions and respective partners. The content of these trainings will discuss the basic framework necessary for developing and sustaining LOSS Team initiative. 

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Every suicide has a devastating impact on many people, and it is important for communities to come together and support each other losing a person to suicide. Implementing a Loss Team in Monroe County is an important step towards supporting those who have recently lost someone to suicide by connecting them with suicide loss survivors who understand their pain and can help build a network of support and resiliency. We look forward to working with Monroe County to strengthen their community’s suicide prevention efforts.”

Samantha Colson, MSW, MS, Director of Training and Programs at Rochester’s National Alliance of Mental Illness, said, “I’m excited to bring this opportunity to our community as suicide survivors will no longer need to suffer in silence.  The importance of holding space for grief and providing support for those impacted by a loss of this nature is invaluable.”

Project Management and related funding will begin January 1, 2022.

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