Monday, January 30, 2023

Controversy over NYC plan to involuntarily treat homeless people with severe mental illness

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced a new way to address the ongoing crisis of people experiencing severe mental illness on New York City’s streets and subways without treatment and without shelter.

Officials intervened more aggressively to get people treated, describing a “moral obligation” to act, even if it meant inadvertently hospitalizing some people.

“These New Yorkers and hundreds of others like them urgently need treatment, but when it is offered they often put it off,” Adams said at a press conference, noting that the widespread problem of mental illness has been open for a long time.

“As a city, we have a moral obligation to stand with our fellow New Yorkers and stop the decades-long practice of turning a blind eye to people with serious mental illness, especially those who harm themselves. take the risk of delivering,” the mayor said. Adams. “It is not acceptable for us to look at someone who clearly needs help and walk away.”

In a public address, Mayor Adams detailed his compassionate new vision for addressing this crisis, beginning with issuing a directive to city agencies and contractors involved in the care and evaluation of people in psychiatric crisis, to More people can get help. This. Mayor Adams also presented an 11-point legislative agenda, one of his top priorities in Albany during the upcoming legislative session. The agenda points to gaps in New York State mental hygiene law that exacerbate the city’s challenges in meeting the needs of its most vulnerable residents with severe mental illness.

Finally, Mayor Adams announced new Clinical Joint Response Teams stationed on the New York City Subway to respond to people with serious mental health concerns, as well as for all first responders to compassionately care for people in crisis. Enhanced training in partnership with New York State.

“There’s no walking or looking the other way,” said the mayor.

The mayor’s directive marks the latest effort to ease the decades-long crisis. It would give first responders, including outreach workers, city hospitals and police, the discretion to involuntarily hospitalize anyone they deem a danger to themselves or unable to care for themselves.

“The nature of their illnesses prevents them from realizing they need intervention and help. Without that intervention, they remain disoriented and isolated from society, plagued by delusions and disorganized thoughts. They end up in hospitals and He goes to and from the jails by bicycle.

State law generally limits officers’ ability to compel someone into treatment unless they are a danger to themselves, but Adams said it was a “myth” that the law required a person to ” was required to behave in an “insulting” manner. A police officer or medical staff can take action.

As part of its initiative, the city is developing a hotline that will allow police officers to consult doctors. This new teleconsultation line will provide vital clinical advice to police officers when dealing with people at risk and ensure a compassionate response to people with untreated serious mental illness.

The mayor’s announcement was greeted with caution by civil rights groups and homeless advocates.

A coalition of community groups, including the Legal Aid Society and various community advocate services, said the mayor was right to point out “decades of dysfunction” in mental health care. He argued that state legislators “no longer have to be ‘in the clear'” to address the crisis and pass legislation providing treatment, not prison, for people with mental health problems.

“We are encouraged to hear that Mayor Adams believes that community-based treatment and the least restrictive services should lead the way to rehabilitation and recovery,” the groups said.

The mayor said he has started deploying teams of doctors and police to patrol the city’s busiest metro stations.

In addition, the city is training police officers and other first responders to help provide “compassionate care” in situations that could lead to the involuntary removal of a person showing signs of mental illness from public places. .

Adams announced the show, saying, “It is not acceptable for us to watch someone who clearly needs help go right through it.”

“We can no longer deny the reality that untreated psychosis can be a brutal and consuming condition that often requires involuntary intervention, supervised medical treatment and long-term care. We will change the culture from the top down And will take all necessary steps to provide care to those who need it.”

Nation World News Desk
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