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Mental Health & Substance Use Screening


POPPA has developed the Suicide Awareness for Emergency Responders (S.A.F.E.R.) program. Our goal is to educate as many police officers as possible so they may identify risk factors and warning signs among police peers, know how to engage and establish rapport quickly in order to respond to a colleague, family member, or loved one who may be in crisis, and have resources to help an officer who may be struggling.

POPPA has been offering full-day S.A.F.E.R. training to any NYPD officer and his or her family members, as well as other first responders on an approximately monthly basis. There is never a charge for police or any first responders, or their families. POPPA has also extended this offer to clinicians and others (such as teachers) who may be likely to encounter individuals in crisis.
Anyone can learn the specific skills to respond to a person in crisis. The willingness to step-up and help an individual, especially another officer, is inherent in the character of every police officer. Police officers and other emergency workers respond best when they feel understood by their respective peers. This is the key to peer support programs. However, family members, friends and other loved ones can provide a lifeline to someone in crisis when they apply the principles, skills, and strategies learned through the POPPA S.A.F.E.R. program.




Up-coming training dates are:

Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 8am-4pm
Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 8am-4pm
Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 8am-4pm
Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 8am-4pm

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Nationwide, the number of police suicides is greater than the number of line-of-duty deaths. This is true among NYC police officers, with 2 exceptions: officers killed on 9/11 and 9/11-related deaths and COVID-related deaths in 2020-2021.
Some studies document that the rate of police suicide is higher than that in the general population. This is unacceptable and we are dedicated to reducing the number of police suicides to ZERO.

High-risk factors for suicide among police have been identified. They include:
• Access to firearm
• Job stress
• Relationship conflict
• Exposure to traumatic events and the development of PTSD
• Substance use
• Erosion of the status of police officer, lack of regard for police, and violence toward police