More than 120 people attended a suicide prevention training conference sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science on October 19, 2012.
The conference, which was organized by department chair Ramin Parsey MD, PhD, featured presentations by Barbara Stanley, PhD, Director of the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment at Columbia University; Kelly Posner PhD, Principal Investigator at the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment at Columbia University; and Nancy Olsen LCSW, Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Northport VA Medical Center.
“We organized this program because suicide is a pressing concern for our society,” Dr. Parsey said. “The national rates are going up and up, especially among veterans and military personnel, and we had a recent spate of unfortunate events here on Long Island. We thought it important to address this issue in a proactive way to reduce the incidence of suicide in our community.”
Dr. Parsey sees the conference as the first in a series of initiatives designed to address the problem of suicide. The department will participate in the New York State Office of Mental Health Suicide Prevention Initiative, not only by sponsoring educational programs throughout the year, but by making improvements in the assessment and treatment of suicide. “We are already making changes in our CPEP and outpatient service based on the training program,” Dr. Parsey said. “We intend for this to be more than an academic exercise,” he said. “We plan to make immediate and on-going improvements in the way we care for patients.”
Click here for information about the Suicide Prevention Committee of Long Island.