‘We Have Allowed This To Fester For Too Long’: NYC Police Force Lags Behind Peers In Addressing Mental Health Issues
Other major cities have lowered the number of suicides in their police forces with aggressive mental health initiatives, including efforts to remove the stigma of seeking counseling by making therapists visible and readily available. But an uptick in suicides this year has shined a light on where the department is falling short when it comes to addressing its mental health crisis. In other mental health news: a 3-digit suicide line, suicides in prisons, and mental health care on college campuses.
The New York Times:
She Begged Them To Take Away His Police Revolver. Then It Happened.
As soon as Eileen Echeverria saw detectives walking up to her home in a quiet Long Island hamlet, she said she knew why they had come. For more than two months, Ms. Echeverria, the sister of a New York Police Department officer, pleaded with department supervisors for them to take away her older brother’s service weapon. She believed he was dangerously unraveling under emotional problems and crippling debt. Her fears were realized: When they got to the house, the detectives confirmed that her brother, Robert Echeverria, 56, had shot himself in his home in Laurelton, Queens, and had died at a nearby hospital. (Sandoval, 9/16)
3-Digit Suicide Hotline Could Make It Easier To Call For Help
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to launch a new three-digit hotline for people who are feeling suicidal or are going through any other mental health crisis. It recommends making 988 the new national number to call for help, replacing the current 10-digit number. The agency presented the idea to Congress in a report earlier this month and is expected to release more information and seek public comment about the proposal in the coming months. (Chatterjee, 9/13)
The Associated Press:
Virginia Jails Struggle To Screen Inmates, Prevent Suicide
Benjamin Wash had a long history of drug addiction and had tried to kill himself at least once before he was booked into the Riverside Regional Jail in Virginia on Nov. 28, 2017. But somehow, he was able to hang himself with a bedsheet two days after he was detained. Wash was one of 51 inmates who killed themselves in Virginia jails over the past five years. (9/15)
Harvard Student’s Suicide Prompts Concern About Mental Health Care On College Campuses
Between 2007 and 2017, at least nine Harvard undergraduates in Massachusetts took their own lives, according to an investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Six of them, including Tang, were of Asian descent. Asian-Americans make up about 20 percent of Harvard’s undergraduate student body. (McKim, 9/16)