Saving Lives in New York:
Suicide Prevention and Public Health
Approaches and Special Populations
New York State
George E. Pataki
Office of Mental Health
Sharon E. Carpinello, RN, PhD,
This is the second of three volumes which together comprise Saving Lives in New York: Suicide Prevention and Public Health, a comprehensive, data-driven report on suicide, its risks and prevention, released in May 2005 by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). Prepared by researchers at OMH, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, the University of Rochester and the New York State Suicide Prevention Council, the report outlines a prevention strategy with two primary components: diagnose and effectively treat those who have a psychiatric condition that puts them at high risk to end their own life; and use community resources, family and friends to engage individuals who harbor risk factors for suicide well before they become a danger to themselves.
Volume One of the report includes an Executive Summary of all three volumes, a public health strategy for suicide prevention across New York State, and a plan for suicide prevention and public health in New York City. Volume One also includes recommendations and action steps that are designed to: improve access to mental health care and services; enhance identification of those at risk; restrict access to means of self-harm; and expand the knowledge base through research.
Volume Two includes authored chapters that examine specific approaches to suicide prevention, and also review specific needs of identified populations. When viewed together, the chapters of Volume Two illustrate that the risk factors contributing to suicide are unevenly distributed across the population, and that protective factors need to be enhanced to maintain a favorable balance for anyone at risk of suicide. The result is an integrated prevention strategy because most suicides involve complex causes, and no single intervention can serve as a panacea for all those at risk. The recommendations and action steps outlined in Volume One are extrapolated from the information contained in the chapters of Volume Two.
Volume Three of the report is a data book of statewide and county-specific information about suicide that is gathered and maintained by the New York State Department of Health.
On the cover:
Lifekeeper Memory Quilts created by Samaritans help us remember the New Yorkers that have been tragically lost to suicide. Their faces and names also inspire others to save future lives through sharing, courage, and commitment to the prevention of suicide. Since 1998, nine quilts have been filled to capacity.