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Mental Health & Substance Use Screening


Since our inception in 1996 POPPA has been instrumental in changing the culture of isolationism and of police officers who avoid seeking help. Through our Resiliency Support Program (RSP), officers started to hear on a regular basis who we are, what we do and how to identify one’s own level of stress. Our outreaches to the different commands, units and supervisory personnel have been instrumental in facilitating this cultural shift. More officers are aware of our confidential services that are available for them.

In February of 2006, 26 retired police officers attended our weekend training and the Retirees Peer Support Team was created. The retired officers were very receptive because many of them remembered a department lacking assurances of confidential assistance. Some had received assistance through the Department, yet many did not because of the stigma and possibilities of repercussions. The retired PSO has been very instrumental in helping foster the concept of self-help, resiliency and psychological well-being.

POPPA’s services have been called upon since 9/11 to assist with many other traumatic and life-changing situations police officers face everyday around America. Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Boston Marathon Bombing are two incidents where PSOs from New York offered PTSD debriefings to other police departments’ First Responders and survivors. POPPA’s expertise in these situations was welcomed and has opened doors to other departments implementing similar protocols for their officers. As our world continues to deal with devastating crises, POPPA will always be available to answer the call for officers in need.