Upstate creates "first of its kind" program in region for high-risk sucidal youth

SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) - Upstate Medical University's new high-risk psychiatry program will be the first of its kind in the region to provide complex therapy specifically focused on young adults. 

"Suicide rates are rising and access to mental health services is difficult," Robert Gregory, a professor of psychiatry at Upstate said. 

Onondaga County's suicide mortality rate from 2008-2011 was 16.5 per 100,000 people. 

The program will use a treatment called Dynamic Deconstructive Psychotherapy to treat complex behavior problems like eating disorders or self-harm. The psychotherapy works to retrain how the brain processes human emotion. 

The treatment boasts a 90 percent response rate in separate studies, according to the University. 

"It is important for us to partner with families and to understand the necessary decisions we need to make to families and to our society," Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena, Upstate Medical University's President said.  

Patients can self-refer to the program, or may get a referral from a physician. POMCO is currently the only insurer that provides payment for the treatment.

Lisa and David Craig lost their 16-year old daughter Corey to suicide nearly ten years ago. She was a popular Bishop Ludden teenager who also suffered from depression. 

The Craig's believe Upstate's program could have saved their daughter's life. 

"The more we talk about it, the easier its going to get to get those people the help they need," Lisa Craig said. 


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