Home » NYC to hospitalize more mentally ill people involuntarily as part of new initiative, mayor Eric Adams says

NYC to hospitalize more mentally ill people involuntarily as part of new initiative, mayor Eric Adams says

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New York (WABC) — Officials on Tuesday outlined a new plan to help more people experiencing severe mental illness in New York City.

An order is immediately issued to city officials, including police, fire, EMS and health department employees, to transfer anyone with a psychiatric problem who refuses voluntary assistance to a hospital for evaluation. has been issued.

It’s part of a long-term strategy announced by the mayor to address “individuals with serious mental illnesses” and “immediately change how we interpret our obligations to those in need.” .

Officials said state law allows intervention when severe mental illness prevents an individual from meeting basic human needs.

Mayor Eric Adams said, “There is a persistent misconception that involuntary assistance cannot be provided unless it is violent, suicidal or there is imminent danger of harm.” Going forward, we will work to help those who are suffering from mental illness and those whose illness puts them at risk by preventing them from meeting their basic human needs. I will make every effort.”

The new directive “creates a rapid, step-by-step process for the involuntary transportation of individuals at risk” and states that “individuals are mentally ill and have basic needs met.” It clearly states that it is appropriate to use this process when it is deemed impossible to do so.”

Police receive enhanced training for ‘basic needs’ interventions, including ‘engagement strategies to try before resorting to exclusion’. Training started on Tuesday morning.

The city will also launch a new telephone hotline for police to provide guidance when encountering people with psychiatric crisis. Officers will receive “real-time access to consider potential responses to individuals with mental health needs.”

The phone numbers will be staffed by medical and hospital personnel and will be operational by next year.

In addition, special intervention teams are paired with police officers to help treat those at risk.

The city also plans to pursue legislation to enshrine “basic need criteria for involuntary interventions” in state law. The city believes this is already law, but codifying the case law could help it be “widely understood.”

“The NYPD works day and night to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers, especially those most vulnerable in our city,” said NYPD Commissioner Keychant L. Sewell. “This is a longstanding and very complex issue, and we work closely with many of our partners to ensure that everyone has access to the services they need. Fully supported and worthy of attention.”

While many applauded the city’s efforts to take steps to help people with severe mental illness, not everyone supports the new directive.

“Many details were unclear and questions left unanswered in the mayor’s announcement. The administration should provide more information about its plan’s intentions, implementation, and non-police investments. “A framework that continues to rely heavily on the police, reduces the role of medical professionals, and deprioritizes the role of peer support is a sustainable way to meet the needs of New Yorkers in need and cities in crisis. But it’s not effective.”

The Coalition for Homeless said the mayor “continues to make mistakes” and homeless people are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators.

A Coalition spokesperson said, “Mayor Adams will focus on fixing a broken mental health system, moving toward affordable permanent housing that will provide quality volunteer care and supportive services to New Yorkers who need it most. priority should be given to access to

NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman issued the following statement:

“The mayor has disregarded the legal rights of New Yorkers and has not provided the necessary resources to address the mental health crisis affecting our community. It imposes severe limits on the government’s ability to detain people experiencing the disease – a limit that the mayor’s proposed expansion is likely to violate. Unless we invest appropriately in the long-term health and well-being of New Yorkers facing mental illness and our chronic housing shortages, the current mental health The crisis will continue. The decades-old practice of sweeping deep-rooted problems from public view may work for politicians, but for the desperate and vulnerable, it is a problem. The need for government services and New Yorkers The mayor’s attempts to crack down on the homeless and wipe out individuals are t. Lacking a plan, the administration is opting for handcuffs and coercion.”

Also read | Police Arrest Manhattan Street Vendor, Seize Luxury Goods Worth Over $10 Million

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