'It's a new territory for all of us.' - NYPD focusing on mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

The NYPD is focusing on mental health as the coronavirus pandemic continues to see a surge in cases throughout New York City.

News 12 Staff

Apr 3, 2020, 8:43 PM

Updated 1,512 days ago

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The NYPD is focusing on mental health as the coronavirus pandemic continues to see a surge in cases throughout New York City. 
Dr. Adria Adams is the new psychologist within the police department’s health and wellness section. Her position is a response to last year’s overwhelmingly high number of officer suicides. 
"It really created for us time to reflect what changes needed to be made,” said Dr. Adams. 
Now, the NYPD has been hit with a new challenge -- COVID-19. 
"We're in a very stressful time, being an essential position. There's unpredictable in the role of the officers. They are the ones constantly responding to these unpredictable situations,” said Dr. Adams. 
Dr. Adams says it is why now more than ever, they need officers to know there’s a support system to help them. 
Inspector Mark Wachter says they’re using social media to reach out to the officers and show them that resources are out there. 
They have also graduated more than 250 officers who will be training for the Peer Support Program, but one of the biggest challenges they say they will face is getting the officers to trust them. 
 "We really want to be able to provide a confidential service. I understand that's going to take time and not be an immediate experience of trust. I'm hoping people will take time to spend time with us to check in with us,” said Dr. Adams. 
She says they’re in the process of hiring 10 psychologists whose time will be split between providing clinical services and spending time in the precincts and getting to know the officers. 
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