Helping Those Who Help Others Steering Committee

About The Committee

As part of the 2020 State of the State, former Governor Cuomo directed the New York State Office of Mental Health to increase efforts to combat suicide within Veterans, Military, Law enforcement, Fire Fighters, EMS and Corrections Officers and “convene a panel of stakeholders and experts at its annual Suicide Prevention Conference to develop and implement strategies for preventing suicide among these special populations.” While the COVID pandemic led to the postponement of the 2020 suicide prevention conference, New York State remained committed to bringing leaders from these disciplines together and have met virtually throughout the Fall of 2020.

In the fall of 2020, the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Suicide Prevention Center created a steering committee comprised of veterans, military, law enforcement, corrections officers, and first responders, to help prevent suicide in New York State.

The steering committee convened around the following activities:

  • Sharing experiences/resources and identifying universal themes
  • Developing a series of presentations designed to educate the wider community and inform the work of the committee membership
  • Outlining identified barriers experienced by these populations and recommending strategies for improving overall wellness, engagement in treatment and services, and suicide prevention efforts

The steering committee is working to implement recommendations through the fall of 2021 and will continue meeting biannually.

For more information about the initiative contact: Garra Lloyd-Lester (


One recommendation from the Helping Those Who Help Others Steering Committee focused on:

  • Recognizing signs of an individual who is in distress or exhibiting suicide risk behaviors and responding accordingly is an important tool in combatting suicide. Family members, colleagues, friends, and neighbors are encouraged to develop an understanding of wellness and suicide prevention along with the knowledge of available resources and treatment.
  • NYS will identify appropriate training (information and resources on uniformed personnel would need to supplement that training).

In response to this Recommendation a subgroup of Uniformed Personnel was formed to create the below resource:

Click here to view the Suicide Prevention Trainings currently available in New York State 

Webinar Series

September 16, 2021

Moral Injury as a lesser-known risk factor for suicidal behavior among military, veterans & LEO with Lauren Borges, licensed clinical psychologist at the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention and Daniel Blumberg, licensed clinical psychologist at the POWER project. (Passcode: #9y.4Yqe)


  • Current research on what is known about Moral Injury as a suicide risk factor among uniformed personnel; specifically active military, veterans & law enforcement.
  • A conceptual model accounting for the development & maintenance of moral injury.
  • Clinical strategies to address individuals impacted by one or more morally injurious events including examples from a case study.
  • How LEO administrators can create a supportive environment for their officers who will likely experience exposure to morally injurious events over the course of their career.
  • Click here to view the slides from the presentation.

May 25, 2021

Suicide Postvention: From Research to Practice with Jeff Thompson, PhD Adjunct Associate research scientist at the molecular imaging and neuropathology division, Department of Psychiatry, at Columbia University Medical Center.


This webinar will provide an overview of how when done strategically, developed, and grounded in evidence-based, best practices, postvention can:

  • Help counter stigma with seeking support and resources.
  • Dispel myths and provide correct information related to suicide (and possibly mental health conditions).
  • By utilizing protocols such as the Law Enforcement Psychological Autopsy, it can provide a deeper understanding to what the decedent was going through leading up their death by suicide.
  • Click here to view the slides from the presentation.
  • Click here to view the Reporting On Law Enforcement Suicide resource.

April 28, 2021

Cultivating Hope in Caring Communities: All Hands on Deck for Suicide and Gun Violence Prevention with Joseph Hunter, Ph.D., LCSW, VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator and Rev. Bruce Swingle, D.Min., BCC, Lead Chaplain


  • Understand the problem of suicide among the military Veteran and Service Member population.
  • Learn how the naturally existing caring community organizations and leaders can be engaged and empowered to take action.
  • Learn an upstream approach to suicide and gun violence prevention.
  • Learn a specific set of steps to engage a concerning Veteran in a discussion about his/her mental health that leads to a referral to care.
  • Become armed with the knowledge, tools and confidence to reach new audiences within respective communities to further this initiative.
  • Click here to view the slides from the presentation.
  • Click here to view a Cultivating Hope resource.

 March 25, 2021

Suicide Prevention and Resilience Training Programs for Police with Katie Oldakowski- Director Mobile Crisis Assessment Team Mental Health Association Columbia Greene Counties, Officer George Hill- Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, and John Petrullo- Executive Director at POPPA (Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance)


  • The SAFER suicide prevention program developed by Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance (POPPA).
  • The Helping Every Responder Overcome Resilience (HERO-R) Program.
  • Click here to view the slides from the presentation.

March 9, 2021

Suicide Prevention and the Corrections Workforce with Maureen Morrison – CNYPC Director of Suicide Prevention, Office of Mental Health, Tracie Strabel – CBO Acting Director of Social Work, Office of Mental Health / CNYPC , Bryan Hilton – Associate Commissioner for New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Cory Thayer, Keith Peters and Timothy Whitcomb – Cattaraugus County Sheriff


  • A panel discussion exploring the unique nature of stressors within the corrections workforce, similarities to other helping professionals, and the barriers/opportunities to prevention efforts.

February 25, 2021

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Presentation- Part II with Christine Robinson, Employee Assistance Program Coordinator Family Resource Center/Soldier & Family Readiness Division Fort Drum, Mark Wachter Deputy Inspector, Commanding Officer, NYPD Health and Wellness Section, Dr. Adria Adams, PsyD , Director, NYPD Health and Wellness Section  and Wilem Wong Sergeant (SA), NYPD Training Manager/Facilitator


  • Understand programmatic examples from Fort Drum EAP and NYPD that address ACEs in the workforce.
  • Presenters review topics on resilience training and resources within the family and civilian connections,  peer support, an overview of the NYPD’s Health and Wellness Section, Critical Incident Stress Management Program, virtual and in-person resources.
  • Click here to view the slides from the presentation.

February 18, 2021

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Presentation- Part I with Scott Neff – Associate Training Technician (Police) Supervisor in the in-service training unit at NYS DCJS and Nicholas Greco, M.S., B.C.E.T.S., C.A.T.S.M., F.A.A.E.T.S.- Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress & Diplomate and Fellow – American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress


  • An understanding and overview of how prior trauma exposure influences the impact of workplace trauma on individuals; risk factors and cumulative trauma.
  • ACEs literature and the relevance of ACES to the law enforcement community.
  • Observations from the field about officers who have high ACE scores.
  • Click here to view the first presentation’s slides and click here to view the second presentation’s slides.

December 11, 2020

Suicide Assessment and Interventions Among First Responder Communities: What we Know and What Works with Dr. Drew Anderson


  • Suicide in First Responders: The Big Picture
  • Suicide Assessments
  • Safety Plans and Interventions
  • Click here to view the presentation’s Microsoft PowerPoint slides.

Note: The presenter’s connection was temporarily lost at 1:02:06, please fast forward to 1:08:28. 

November 16, 2020

Overview of a Group Training Focused on Suicide & Depression Prevention for Young Air Force Trainees (Wingman-Connect) with Peter A. Wyman, PhD and Bryan Yates


  • A prevention training to strengthen suicide-protective processes within a work group, including cohesion, shared purpose and healthy coping.
  • How this ‘network health’ approach differs from traditional trainings.
  • Results showing this training reduced suicidal ideation, depression symptoms and work-related problems.
  • Discussion considers how this training might be adapted for other work groups.

October 30, 2020

Helping Those Who Help Others Panel Discussion with John Bourges, Elliot T. Boyce & Steven Kroll


  • Learn more about this New York State suicide prevention initiative focused on veterans, military, law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and corrections officers.
  • Panelists representing different uniformed personnel professions discuss the challenges, barriers and resources to address suicide, mental health and wellness within their respective disciplines.

Committee Membership

The Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from the following state and local organizations:

Bought Fire Department

NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)

Delmar-Bethlehem EMS

NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS)

NYS Division of Veterans’ Services (DVS)

Fire Department New York (FDNY)

Fort Drum

Lake Plains Community Care Network – EMS

Mental Health Association (MHA) – Putnam County

NYC Department of Veterans’ Services (NYC DVS)

New York Police Department (NYPD)

NY Sheriffs Association

NYS Troopers

NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS)

NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH)

OMH Central New York Psychiatric Center (CNYPC)

NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS)

Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance

US National Guard