STATEN ISLAND — A fifth NYPD officer has died by suicide in two months, police officials confirmed Saturday.
Authorities confirmed the officer, whose name has not yet been released, died in Staten Island Saturday.
It’s the department’s seventh death by suicide this year — the fifth since June 5.
Back in June, police Commissioner James O’Neill called the officer suicides “a mental-health crisis.”
“We — the NYPD and the law enforcement profession as a whole — absolutely must take action,” O’Neill said in a statement. “This cannot be allowed to continue. Cops spend so much of their days assisting others. But before we can help the people we serve, it is imperative that we first help ourselves.”
A 2018 study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization, found policemen and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. But there are several barriers preventing first responders from accessing mental health services, “including shame and stigma,” the paper states.
Earlier this month, medical experts, union officials and the Brooklyn borough president called on city and police leaders to add meditation and mindfulness training for law enforcement officers, as the NYPD deals with the rash of officer suicides.
“Police officers are reluctant — because of history — of revealing whatever trauma they are experiencing,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer who said he now meditates daily.
The NYPD offers multiple resources for the emotional and physical toll the job takes on those in the force.
On their website, the NYPD lists numbers for their Employee Assistance Unit, Chaplain’s Unit, peer assistance program, and other resources.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). It’s a free, 24/7 service that offers support, information, and local resources. You can also click here for additional hotlines within the tri-state area and the nation.
Depression and suicidal thoughts are often exhibited in many ways. Warning signs for suicide can include, but are not limited to, talking about wanting to die; conveying feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or being a burden; and displaying extreme moods.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention advises that you do not leave the person alone, call a prevention hotline, and take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.
For more information on suicide prevention, including additional resources and warning signs, you can visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website.