Suicide Prevention Center of New York State

The Suicide Prevention Center of New York State has been awarded a $340,000 grant to develop a suicide review process for counties greatly impacted by suicide, including Onondaga County.

The New York State Health Foundation awarded more than $340,000 to the Suicide Prevention Center of New York to implement suicide prevention efforts in four counties in New York, including Onondaga County.

The foundation's grant will go toward supporting the center's work to develop, test and refine "a formal in-depth suicide review process in four counties greatly impacted by suicide," according to a release.

According to the release, the grant is meant to ensure coroner and medical examiner investigations of suicide can report accurate and complete data and to conduct reviews of suicide deaths in communities in an effort to look for systemic patterns.

The grant from the foundation is being matched by the state Office of Mental Health. Each county is set to receive approximately $100,000 over the course of the two-year project.

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In addition to Onondaga County, Erie, Suffolk and Westchester counties will receive the funding.

The model being used is based on a program from Washington County, Oregon, that saw representatives from medical examiner's offices, healthcare providers, law enforcement, crisis workers and other partners sharing information from in-depth reviews of suicides to discern patterns of behavior in suicidal individuals.

Once such pattern identified, for example, according to the release, was a recurring instance of individuals leaving pets at animal shelters just prior to committing suicide, an observation that was used to train shelter staff that have since intervened in several instances.

For help dealing with suicidal thoughts, call national Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at (800) 273-8255, or text the Crisis Text Line by sending "Got5" to 741741.

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Staff writer Ryan Franklin can be reached at (315) 282-2252 or ryan.franklin@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @RyanNYFranklin