Monday, October 3, 2016

"Talk To Me" - The NYPD's Suicide Prevention & Mental Illness Awareness Campaign

NYPD “Talk To Me” Campaign Raises Awareness For Suicide Prevention & Mental Illness

Social media being used to share crisis communication skills, dispel myths, connect people with services, and more

Members of the NYPD engage people in crisis situations on a daily basis where the men and women of the Department continually use crisis communication skills and tactics to resolve these incidents in a peaceful manner. For the month of September and October the NYPD is promoting the use of these skills through a social media campaign that will also be promoting awareness of mental health illnesses and how help is available.

The NYPD reached more than 220 million people on social media last year and see this as an opportunity to raise awareness of effective skills that can help people as well as services that are available. They NYPD encourages everyone to help raise awareness of suicide, mental illness and how it is easy to help someone- you don't have to be an expert.

The first step can be as simple as engaging a person in conversation and encouraging them to talk to you. That is what "Talk To Me” means- starting a conversation with someone who might be in need of help. You can help by using the hashtag #TalkToMe on social media, following us on Twitter at @TalkToMe, sharing our content that is posted on the channels listed below, raising awareness by posting on your social media, and finally by checking in with someone that might need help.

Why "Talk To Me"?

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See a larger version of this graphic below.

Members of the NYPD’s elite Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT) and Emergency Services Unit (ESU) respond to crisis situations and utilize active listening skills, techniques that demonstrate empathy, build rapport, and slow the situation down. The NYPD’s HNT was the first ever team created in the country in 1975 and uses the “Talk To Me” motto to demonstrate how active listening and encouraging a person to talk is effective in achieving a peaceful resolution.  Members of ESU respond to thousands of crisis calls a year. By working together as a team, ESU is able to bring about peaceful ends to a variety of crisis situations. Recently the NYPD adapted the HNT and ESU training and modified it for the patrol setting in their Crisis Intervention Team training to ensure patrol officers have these skills for their encounters with people in crisis.

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Check out latest articles [HERE]. Here's a few of them:

Get information on suicide from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention here including:

Warning Signs of Suicide

If You Think Someone Is Considering Suicide (from
  • Trust your instincts that the person may be in trouble
  • Talk with the person about your concerns. Communication needs to include LISTENING
  • Ask direct questions without being judgmental. Determine if the person has a specific plan to carry out the suicide. The more detailed the plan, the greater the risk
  • Get professional help, even if the person resists
  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Do not swear to secrecy
  • Do not act shocked or judgmental
  • Do not counsel the person yourself

If it is an emergency, call 911.

More resources: 
  • National suicide prevention lifeline: 800.273.8255
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 800.273.8255, press "1"; text 838255
  • Crisis Text Line: text START to 741-741
  • Samaritans confidential helpline in NYC: 212.673.3000
  • More information on resources [here]