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 resources:

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

An additional recommendation from the Helping Those Who Help Others Steering Committee focused on: Options for supportive services and crisis resources being available to varying degrees and across the ‘helping’ disciplines to individuals in need and experiencing emotional distress. Click here to view the Behavioral Health Resource: List for Uniformed Personnel

Webinar Series

New York State Cares Up 2021 Fall Webinar Series 

Drew Anderson, Ph.D., FF/EMT, Associate Professor of Psychology at SUNY Albany detailed why we see more behavioral/mental health issues in first responders, described protective factors that boost behavioral/mental health wellness, and possible ways to help first responders struggling with behavioral/mental health issues.

Webinar Archive – 

Helping Those Who Help Others Webinar Series 

View every webinar from the Helping Those Who Help Others series on the NYS Office of Mental Health YouTube Channel. Presentation slides are located in the video’s description. Click here to access the video playlist.

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