Mayor Bill de Blasio says the suicide of nine New York City police officers in 2019 is “extraordinarily painful.”
“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,” de Blasio said.
The mayor said the city is working to address mental health issues, including better communication to officers that help is available. He said peer counselors have already been made available in every precinct and he’s working to make sure more mental health providers will take the city’s health insurance.
“A very substantial number of city employees do take advantage, right now, of mental health services through their city health insurance but we obviously can do more. We’re going to do that immediately,” de Blasio said.
The mayor also said the NYPD would more clearly outline its policy on medications. He said many officers believe taking medication to address a mental health issue could compromise their job, but that’s not true.
“There are a variety of medications that is perfectly appropriate to take if you’re a police officer, if you’re any number of other professions in this society,” de Blasio said.
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