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Mental Health & Substance Use Screening



Every year a number of New York City Police Officers take their own lives. In 2019, a total of 10 NYPD Officers completed suicide.  In 2020, the number was reduced to 4.  We are committed to providing officers and other first responders with the education and support that they need to help themselves and their co-workers.

The hard reality of law enforcement is that police officers are more likely to be a victim of suicide than of homicide.  Police officers complete suicide at a rate that is higher that of the general population. This is unacceptable!

  • Some high-risk factors include:
    • Access to firearm
    • Job Stresses
    • Relationship Problems
    • Exposure to trauma & death
    • Alcohol use
    • Public mistrust

POPPA is committed to preventing suicide. The newest phase of our suicide prevention effort is to educate as many police officers as possible to identify risk factors and warning signs that maybe displayed by someone who is suicidal. We want you to watch out for your partners, we want you to know how to react to someone who is displaying signs or symptoms of suicide.  As a part of this effort POPPA developed and will be offering a One-Day suicide awareness training:  Suicide Awareness for Emergency Responders (SAFER).  This training is offered to any NYPD officer and their family members., as well as other first responders.  There is never a charge for this training.

Course Description— The Suicide Awareness for Emergency Responders (SAFER) training is for emergency responders,  clinicians, and others who often encounter individuals in crisis.


The basis of the SAFER program is early identification of red flags or warning signs, which may indicate suicidal ideation, intent, or even a suicide gesture.  We then help responders to learn how to engage the person who is in conflict in order to quickly establish rapport.  The goal is to create an environment in which the person in crisis feels understood, supported, and, in turn, more willing and able to accept help.


Anyone can learn the skills to respond to a person in crisis.  We know that police officers and other emergency workers respond best when they feel most understood by their respective peers.  This is the basis for peer support programs and can be fundamental in crisis intervention.  However, family members, friends, and loved ones can also provide a lifeline to someone in crisis when they apply the principles, skills, and strategies learned through the POPPA SAFER program.


Due to the current COVID-19-related health guildelines, in-person full-day training is suspended.  However, we are offering a 3-hour modified SAFER program via zoom.  If interested, please call the main office at (212) 298-9111 to register.  A zoom link will be sent to you 1-2 days before the training.

The next available training date is:

1-Friday, January 15th, 2021 10am-1pm

2-Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10am-1pm


New Dates Will Be Added for March, 2021 and April, 2021