New Program Gives Officers Access to Highest-Quality, Comprehensive Mental Health Services
The New York Police Department and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital today announced a new collaboration to connect uniformed members of service with free, confidential counseling and other mental health services, as part of NYPD’s health and wellness programming. Starting Monday, October 28th, FINEST CARE will enable officers to call a confidential NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital referral line to get connected to the Hospital’s affiliated psychologists and psychiatrists.
"The dedicated public servants who have driven crime to record-lows in New York City deserve the best-quality mental health care to help them deal with the emotional challenges of their difficult work," said Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "Think about the stresses they endure every day, the cumulative trauma they experience: They go to shootings and murder scenes, they interview sexual assault victims - there didn’t always seem to be an outlet to talk about that. And the biggest issue is the stigma about seeking and accepting help for ourselves. Now, those who devote their lives to helping others overcome crisis situations have access to free, confidential counseling with some of the top psychologists and psychiatrists in our nation. I want to remind everyone in our NYPD family that caring for yourselves, and helping others connect with the help they need, is never a sign of weakness - in fact, it's a sign of incredible strength. We're looking to help all of our members get back on the road to doing the jobs they love."
"When I was 18 years old, my Dad took his own life. He was a World II hero and was so used to helping others that he found it difficult to accept it for himself," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Too many members of the NYPD family have had to watch their colleagues and loved ones succumb to mental health struggles. We are launching a new partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian to eradicate stigma and get our officers the help they need."
"NewYork-Presbyterian is honored to provide NYPD officers with the highest-quality mental health services to meet their unique needs," said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. "Historically, members of law enforcement have been reluctant to seek help, seeing themselves as providers, not receivers, of help. FINEST CARE can break that cycle and provide the best care available to our city's officers, to whom we owe a great debt."
FINEST CARE will provide all uniformed members of service with access to clinicians that can provide counseling through difficult life events. At no cost to the officer, the program will offer a wide range of comprehensive and confidential behavioral health services specifically developed for NYPD uniformed officers and tailored to meet an individual’s needs. Examples of available resources include: a one-time appointment to discuss an acute issue, regular outpatient therapy sessions with licensed psychiatrists and psychologists, prescribed medication when clinically appropriate, and more.
A team of clinicians from NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Division will be made available for this effort. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is collaborating with its affiliated medical schools, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s psychiatry specialty is ranked among the top five in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
To access resources, uniformed members of service can call NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's dedicated referral line and speak to a coordinator who will identify a convenient provider for a timely appointment. Coordinators will be trained to speak with NYPD officers and to identify whether a caller is in immediate need of help or is looking to speak to a mental health professional about an issue before it turns into a crisis. FINEST CARE is available for all kinds of emotional challenges, and all uniformed members of service who are experiencing challenges are encouraged to call.
The program costs will vary according to use, up to $1.2 million of the NYPD budget. The Police Foundation provided an initial $150K in support of the program.
NewYork-Presbyterian NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation's most comprehensive, integrated academic healthcare systems, encompassing 10 hospital campuses across the Greater New York area, more than 200 primary and specialty care clinics and medical groups, and an array of telemedicine services.
A leader in medical education, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the only academic medical center in the nation affiliated with two world-class medical schools, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. This collaboration means patients have access to the country's leading physicians, the full range of medical specialties, latest innovations in care, and research that is developing cures and saving lives.
NYPD's Health and Wellness Programming The Department has recently established a "Health & Wellness Task Force" to develop a holistic and comprehensive strategy on health and wellness, which includes physical, mental, and emotional health. The Task Force is chaired by the First Deputy Commissioner, in collaboration with various units within the Department. Recent initiatives include:
- Executive and Command-level Training
- Increasing access to Shield of Resilience Training Course, used by law enforcement officers nationwide
- Training members from each command in Mental Health First Aid
- Launching Peer Support Program
- Launching Health and Wellness App
- Updating shield policy
- Increasing staffing in the Medical Division