Chris Manders is a retired Lieutenant from the New York City Police Department. He joined the force when he was twenty-four years old. He excelled in both academics and school athletics growing up in West Hempstead, a suburb of New York City located on Long Island. Chris attended Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania where he played football and studied Police Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan prior to entering the NYPD Police Academy.
Chris worked patrol on the streets of Brooklyn in the East New York and Park Slope neighborhoods as a Police Officer. As a Sergeant, he was assigned to the Brooklyn Court Section where he worked in one of the busiest Criminal Courts in the country. He also worked alongside many of the Brooklyn Assistant District Attorneys, gaining invaluable knowledge of the court system. Chris was promoted to Lieutenant at a very quick rate. For most of his tenure in that rank, about six years, he was assigned to the Central Records Division (CRD) in One Police Plaza. CRD is a unit responsible for many of the support functions of the NYPD related to arrest records, court sealings, fingerprints, criminal history, and records management.
Chris has conducted Department wide training both in-person and virtually for various functions such as records management programs and the administration of FBI and State Integrated Criminal Databases. He has been centrally involved in many high-level projects such as complex legal compliance issues and the upgrade of the Department's fingerprint database, the improvement to the NYPD’s records management systems, and the improvement to the method in which thousands of patrol officers access Orders of Protection in real time; vastly improving an archaic and inefficient system. Chris also helped to manage the Division, which included overseeing the operations of the Division office and its four sub-units. This included working side by side with both management, in tackling complex administrative issues, but also communicating and connecting with all members of the Division, many of whom were young, entry level civilian workers that Chris enjoyed mentoring and sharing his experience and knowledge with as they began their careers.
Chris currently resides in Massapequa, New York with his wife and three children. He volunteers with the local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), including being a certified presenter of the Talk Saves Lives™ education program. He also advocates for mental health issues and awareness on behalf of organizations such as the AFSP and the New York State Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Chris enjoys spending his time volunteering and coaching in his local baseball little league.
“Lessons Learned from Being a Suicidal Law Enforcement Officer”
Suicide is one of the most challenging issues facing law enforcement. Although great progress has been made and more resources are available, high suicide rates persist while individuals remain reluctant to open up and seek help.
In this inspiring talk, I draw on my experience as a Lieutenant in the New York City Police Department and how I fell into a dark hole of anxiety and depression. The insights and lessons learned from my story will help inspire the audience to leave and return to their communities to begin fostering an environment that is more open, trusting, and supportive NOW that will serve them better during a suicidal crisis.
“The Future is Calling: Getting Help”
It’s not easy.
We know WHO to call, but it’s MAKING that call that is the difficult part.
In my experience, I have found members of service are still reluctant to seek even basic talk therapy out of fear of potential career stigma and consequences.
In this motivational talk, I talk about my lived experience of struggling and refusing to seek or accept help. In the subsequent years of recovery, I have shared my experience and have convinced many fellow members of service to seek assistance when struggling. By combining my experience with the knowledge and insights gained, I will share what I have learned to be the most effective way to speak to friends or strangers about mental health struggles.
The audience will immediately feel inspired and more comfortable in how they would consider seeking help for themselves, but also how they may advise fellow members or friends.
“Career Pivot: Life After Suicide”
The nature of being suicidal does not allow the individual to rationally plan for the future. If you are fortunate enough to get out of that dark hole, the road ahead can be very frightening as well.
In this moving talk, I discuss my time adjusting to life while recovering from a deep depression and suicidal ideation. In an emotional journey, adapting professionally and personally to the reality of what I experienced was not always easy. But in time, I learned how to pivot professionally and become successful despite numerous obstacles.
Most importantly, I learned many lessons about family and work, well-being and balance that have kept me strong throughout any challenges I face and have made me who I am today. The audience will learn the coping skills NOW and that it is possible to not only survive a deep depression, but THRIVE... All will leave feeling hope that if they or a loved one fall into a dark hole, it is not the end.
Chris Manders is a retired NYPD Lieutenant that speaks about the modern-day issues of working in law enforcement while fighting the stigma surrounding mental health struggles.
By sharing his insight and lessons learned through his personal journey and struggle with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation in the New York City Police Department, he will inspire the audience and leave them with a feeling of hope and inspiration. The audience will feel a call to action in fostering a more open, trusting, and supportive environment NOW that will serve better during a suicidal crisis.
Although members of service are encouraged to seek help and are provided numerous resources to do so, many are still reluctant to open-up about their fight with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Departments and society have come very far in confronting this issue and acknowledging the problem, but there is often a FEAR of the obstacles and mental health stigma that will prevent an individual from seeking help.
Through open storytelling and insight, the audience will hear a firsthand account of what went wrong, and what went right. Chris articulates to the audience the lessons learned and the awareness gained in struggling with anxiety and depression and life after being a suicidal law enforcement officer.
Chris will leave the audience feeling inspired towards positive change and hope with actionable steps to be taken NOW.