NYPD Police Suicides Spur Confidential Psychiatric Care Program

(Bloomberg) -- The New York Police Department, after experiencing 10 suicides among its officers this year, has has begun a $1.2 million program for New York-Presbyterian Hospital to provide confidential emergency psychiatric care to any officer who seeks it.

In the past year, 1,200 officers reached out for counseling or other mental health therapy through the department, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a news conference at the Manhattan-based hospital Thursday. The new program, dubbed “Finest Care,” funded through the NYPD budget and a $150,000 from the nonprofit Police Foundation, will offer free therapy beginning with a staff of 25 clinicians, accessible through confidential telephone calls, independent of the department.

“These last months have been a shock to all of us and we’ve come to the view that we’ve got to put everything that we can on the table to see what will work,” de Blasio said, referring to the spate of suicides.

The city Department of Investigation cited the suicides in a report last month that found “the NYPD is facing a crisis” due to on-the-job and non-employment related stress, which has contributed to 49 reported suicides among officers since 2010. The suicide rate for uniformed NYPD personnel (about 13.8 per 100,000 people) is more than double the rate for the general population of New York City (about 6.7 per 100,000 people), according to the report.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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