Syracuse, N.Y. – County Executive J. Ryan McMahon, II announced that the Onondaga County Health Department has been awarded approximately $100,000 over two years to support suicide prevention efforts. The funding, “Learning from Loss: Using Suicide Fatality Reviews for Effective Prevention Activities”, was awarded by the Suicide Prevention Center of New York (SPCNY).
County Executive McMahon said, “We are grateful to receive the financial support from the Suicide Prevention Center of New York to pilot this innovative model in Onondaga County. This funding will allow us to work in conjunction with many community partners to prevent the devastating loss felt with each suicide in our community.” McMahon continued, “Most importantly, we will use this community level data to work collaboratively with partners to implement targeted interventions that stop suicides from occurring.”
The suicide rate among Onondaga County residents is 10.3 per 100,000 which is higher than the statewide rate of 8.1 per 100,000 population. Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta explains, “Suicides and self-harm injuries are a growing public health concern across New York State, with serious and lasting effects on the well-being of families and communities. With this new funding, the Onondaga County Health Department will gather comprehensive surveillance data for each suicide death and lead a multi-sector suicide fatality review team.”
This funding will allow the Onondaga County Health Department to implement a model from Washington County, Oregon that utilizes a data collection tool completed by the Medical Examiner’s Office during investigations of suicide deaths, and creates a process for in-depth community reviews of suicide deaths to identify systemic patterns.