Director of the NYS Office of Mental Health's Suicide Prevention Center
Jay Carruthers’ interest in health systems began after college when he worked as a health policy analyst for the Jackson Hole Group, a prominent health care reform think tank. He then attended medical school at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and did his residency at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program where he was a chief resident at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center’s Dialectical Behavioral Treatment Partial Hospital Program. He went on to become an assistant professor in psychiatry at Albany Medical Center in their outpatient resident training clinic.
He joined the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) in November of 2010 as director of the Bureau of Psychiatric Services and Research Institute Support. In June of 2014, Dr. Carruthers became the founding director of the OMH Suicide Prevention Center of New York. Since then he has led the effort to coordinate suicide prevention programming for New York State with an emphasis on improving care for suicidal individuals receiving care in the public mental health system.
In the clinical domain, Dr. Carruthers and his team have been nationally recognized for their work with health systems to integrate suicide prevention, receiving several federal grants to support this work, including the largest implementation of the Zero Suicide model in the U.S. involving over 165 mental health clinics. During his tenure as director, he has been co-director for two federal grants, was the lead author of New York State’s most recent suicide prevention plan and was instrumental in bringing a novel intervention for individuals with a recent suicide attempt, an extremely high-risk group, to New York State—a first in the nation program. In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, New York State had the 2nd lowest suicide rate among all 50 states.
Jay Carruthers, M.D., the Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health's Suicide Prevention Center will provide the conference's closing remarks.