A rash of suicides by police officers has shaken the New York Police Department, leading the commissioner to declare a mental health emergency and highlighting the problem of untreated depression among law enforcement officers nationwide.
On Wednesday, Robert Echeverria, 56, became the ninth NYPD officer to take his own life this year. His death came a day after another officer, Johnny Rios, 35, killed himself.
The deaths have come despite the department’s mounting efforts to encourage officers to seek help for depression and other mental health problems. After two officers killed themselves on back-to-back days in June, Police Commissioner James O’Neill sent a note reminding the more than 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilians in the NYPD that help is available if they’re feeling depressed, hopeless or contemplating self-harm.
But the deaths continued.
“It’s extraordinarily painful,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. “We have lost officers in the past, but this concentration is devastating. We’re going to do everything conceivable to help officers and to stop this.”
The suicides have been a recurring nightmare for the nation’s largest police force and have driven a discussion about the toll of police work, a profession in which discussing mental health was long seen as taboo.
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Thank you Source: NYS News