ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Capital Connect, a suicide prevention program in the Capital Region was awarded a $5M grant on Thursday. The grant is funded through the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administered by the state Office of Mental Health. With the grant, the group will look to identify at-risk groups for focused prevention efforts in specific areas and industries in the four-county region.

“While our state’s mental health resources are among the best in the nation, we still lose far too many New Yorkers to suicide each year,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “With a focused approach to prevention, we can better identify groups and industries most at risk and ensure they have access to resources, and this $5 million grant announced today will help us provide critical support and foster connections among vulnerable individuals throughout the Capital Region.”  

The primary goal of Capital Connect is a 10% reduction in suicide attempts and deaths among vulnerable groups who have been shown to have disproportionately high rates of suicide attempts. The initiative is part of the Office of Mental Health’s larger goal of reducing mental health disparities in historically underserved communities, including communities of color.

The Office of Mental Health utilized surveillance data from the Department of Health to identify two disproportionally affected populations. These groups include adolescents, who have been increasingly treated at emergency departments following suicide attempts, and working-aged men, whose suicide rate is triple that of the general population.