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Over the last 17 years, POPPA has been instrumental in changing the culture of isolationism and avoidance of police officers 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 PSO’s from New York offered PTSD debriefings to other police department’s 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 crisis, POPPA will always be available to answer the call for officers in need
Founded : 1996
PlaidPals Suicide Assessment Tool
Assessing the Risk of Suicide
Things to watch for when assessing potential risk… “PLAID PALS”
Do they have one?
Is it lethal? Can they die?
Do they have the means to carry it out?
Do They have a mental or physical illness?
Chronic or specific incident(s)?
How many? How recent?
Are they alone? Do they have a support system? Partner? Are they alone right now?
Have they suffered a loss? Death, job, relationship, self esteem?
Substance Abuse (or use)
Drugs, alcohol, medicine? Current, chronic?
More police officers die by suicide than by line of duty incidents. The rate of suicide for police officers is 17 per 100,000. The rate of suicide for civilians is 12 per 100,000. In the past 3 years, 20 active members of the NYPD completed suicide. In almost all cases, the primary contributing factor was relationship difficulties.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Most people who are thinking about suicide do not make their intentions known in an obvious way. Instead, they present with "Invitations" or changes in behavior that telegraph their risk for suicide. We call these changes invitations because as is the case with any invitation, a response is expected. While 90% of suicidal persons will "send out invitations," the remaining 10% do not. These are impulsive suicides for which there is little we can do. The good news though is that 90% can be saved if we know what to look for and how to intervene.
Free Employee Smoking Cessation Program
Available to all NYC government employees. We supply medications (patch, gum, lozenge, Zyban Chantix) at no cost. Confidential support provided by experienced specialists in person or on the phone.
Call 212-676-2393 for an appointment
Sponsored by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene-Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention & Tobacco Control.
Peer Support Officer (PSO) Rich Mack
Rich started his career at the 75th Precinct in East New York. He has served throughout the city in the 9th Precinct, Midtown South- Operation Impact, Manhattan South Peddler Task Force, 79th Precinct and eventually, the 40th Precinct. Currently, Rich is assigned to the newly formed SRG (Strategic Response Group).
For over fifteen years, Rich has volunteered his time with POPPA as a PSO (Peer Support Officer). During 9/11, he spent several months as a PSO and assisted in coordinating logistics for POPPA’s temporary facilities (Including POPPA’s Fresh Kill’s facility.) He also responded with a POPPA crisis response team to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Boston Marathon Bombings. More recently, Rich responded with a team to the situation in Baltimore to help his fellow brothers and sisters in blue.
Trauma Response Team
Our Trauma Response Team (TRT) is a direct result of 9/11. We were privileged to respond to one of the saddest tragedies in America with the National Critical Incident Stress Management Association. Their techniques and our protocols created a unique set of skills to address both the immediate and short-term response to traumatic incidents experienced by NYPD officers. Because of our inimitable relationship with the Department, we are notified of any situation in which an officer has been impacted. Whether a shooting, accident resulting in serious injury/death or a horrific crime scene, our TRT team is ready to respond to offer a level of care and regard for the officers emotional and psychological well-being.
Resiliency Support Program
Once again POPPA’s distinguished services have opened many of the NYPD’s doors to offer support to our officers of all ranks. The Resiliency Support Program has primarily been facilitated at the different ranges located throughout New York City. During the presentation a brief overview of POPPA is given, along with printed materials and our easy to carry phone cards with the toll free POPPA hotline number. This program gives the officer in the field easy to remember tools to check the level of stress and resiliency over the last six months. During the outreach, a small group is conducted by two PSOs and a clinician. Often the officers have commented about how educational it has been to learn about hidden levels of stress, PTSD and remaining resilient.
All reports are strictly confidential. This appears to be: