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The Zero Suicide Initiative

Since 2019, Access has been hard at work adopting the Zero Suicide initiative. The primary message of the initiative is that every single life lost to suicide is preventable. Across the Access network, we are working tirelessly to bring the number of lives lost to suicide to zero.

Some of the work being done by our Zero Suicide Core Committee includes:

  • Creating a culture of suicide prevention and care practices for our team and community.
  • Creating an expectation that suicide prevention is a top priority in treatment.
  • Expanding Suicide Prevention training in our community education efforts, particularly among high school students and young adults.
  • Offering training on a variety of evidence-based interventions to target suicide prevention.
  • Providing education to staff in all areas of the organization that will destigmatize and make them comfortable with discussions about suicide, including; QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer), AMSR (Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk), and CALM (Counseling on Access to Lethal Means).
  • Using nationwide data points to contextualize the outcomes of the people we support.
  • Collecting data throughout our agency’s programs on mental health outcomes and use of interventions to craft ongoing strategies.

Following a carefully monitored action plan, our Zero Suicide Core Committee works to bring the tenets of zero suicide and critically important training to our clients, staff, and community. With representation from various departments across Access and our affiliates, our Core Committee brings many skillsets and perspectives to suicide intervention and prevention.

To join in our efforts, reach out to Jess Perk-Alvarez, LMSW, Clinical Process Improvement Coordinator and chair of the Zero Suicide Core Committee at

The Zero Suicide Core Committee:

John Bennett, Vice President of Behavioral Health Services.
Laura Brown-Rivera, Clinical Team Leader, Rockland Children’s CARE Team.
Kyle Capuani, Population Health and Health Record Analyst.
Linda Certo, Behavioral Health Clinical Director.
Cathey Duryea, Regional Behavioral Health Director.
Toni Hamilton, PROS Director.
Felice Harris, Director of Early Childhood Programs – The Guidance Center of Westchester.
Tameika Hinton, Senior Therapist.
Sarah Kimball, Communications Director.
Lauren Owens, Care Management Director.
Jessica Perk-Alvarez, Clinical Process Improvement Coordinator – Committee Chair.
Rachael Rivera, Children & Family Services Director.
Shalah Sharp, Clinician – NYFAC.
Rachel Tarr, Training Director.
Gary Weiner, Risk Management & Compliance Director –The Guidance Center of Westchester.