The New York Police Department plans to dive deeply into personnel data on all its officers to examine on- and off-the-job problems that may lead to greater risk of suicide.

According to Newsday, a report by the inspector general said that the department should examine elements of suicide risk amid a rise in officer suicides in 2019—so far this year, nine NYPD officers have died by suicide.

The inspector general's report said that the department should be more proactive about reaching out to officers who are at risk of suicide.

"NYPD's internal support services are underutilized, that a perception or fear of stigmatization is a common explanation for underused services, and that, until recently, broad categories of uniformed members did not receive formal NYPD training on mental health and wellness after graduating from the police academy," the inspector general's report said.

Editor's Note: If you or someone you know has ideation of suicide or is approaching crisis, please know that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. Safe Call Now (1-206-459-3020) offers those services specifically for first responders.

On a website maintained by BlueH.E.L.P.—an organization that tracks officer suicides while simultaneously seeking to prevent such tragedies from occurring—a first responder need only enter a few data points—such as their location and what kind of assistance is needed—and the individual will be provided with a list of options for help from a searchable database dedicated to helping first responders find emotional, financial, spiritual, and other forms of assistance.

 

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