Mayor Draws on Father’s Suicide in Dealing With Spike Among NYPD Officers
The Wall Street Journal
By Katie Honan and Tyler Blint-Welsh
Aug. 15, 2019
Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to stem the spike in suicides among New York Police Department officers this year by speaking openly about his father’s suicide in urging them to seek help.
The mayor talked about his family’s experience in a letter he sent to NYPD officers on Wednesday night, shortly before a longtime officer became the ninth member of the department to die by suicide this year. The 56-year-old officer, who had been with the department for 25 years and served in its Strategic Response Group, fatally shot himself at a home in Laurelton, Queens, according to a police official. His suicide came a day after another officer fatally shot himself in Yonkers.
In his letter, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, detailed the depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism that his father, a decorated World War II veteran, battled before killing himself. His father, who lost part of his leg during the war, died when Mr. de Blasio was 18 years old. Although his father was always strong physically, the mayor said, it “wasn’t the kind of strength he needed.”
“My dad couldn’t deal with what he had lived through,” he said in the letter.
“I say from experience: There is strength in asking for help—in doing the right thing for you and your family.”
read it here