NYC coalitions and elected leaders show the “lights and shadows” of the new agenda to face the tragedy of mental health

Every time new strategies emerge to deal with the maelstrom of the mental health crisis in New York City, a new “hurricane” of questions and conflicting positions by elected leaders and community organizations.

With the announcement of a new investment from $20 million to improve family and child mental healthaddressing the overdose crisis and expanding support for serious mental illness, already some are beginning to have doubts about the real effects of the new program.

And it is that the Big Apple has experienced a “once in a century pandemic”, record overdose deaths, and growing youth mental health needs. In New York City alone, more than 8,000 children have lost one of their parents because of the Covid-19. And according to national balances, nearly one in three teens say they have considered suicidean increase of more than 60 percent in the last decade.

The agenda announced this week by the City targets child and family mental health, but also includes those struggling with substance use issues and with more severe conditions that need specialized support.

“This plan is the result of an intensive effort during the last year, which appealed to every part of our city government. From our healthcare experts to our first responders to our educators, we look for ways to make people mentally and physically healthy“said Mayor Eric Adams.

Call for less police intervention

Coalitions such as Comunidades Unidas por la Reforma Policial (CPR) immediately questioned the fact that the municipal government continues to announce mental health plans, but at the same time raises cut the budget for agencies that could make these breakthroughs a reality. But he pumps more funds into the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

“Surveillance-based mental health responses continue to be prioritized, such as his proposal to expand programs that operate under NYPD supervision and involvement. Instead, the mayor should completely remove the police from all mental health responses. and invest in non-police solutions to this crisis“, critical Ileana Mendez Peñate, CPR spokesperson.

This organization has its doubts, specifically, in strengthening the program of the Division of Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response (B-HEARD) that is 80% operated by police officers throughout the city and supports New Yorkers who live with severe mental illness (SMI).

pros and cons

Instead, the City Council was blowing with favorable winds to evaluate the City’s new mental health strategy.

This plan is welcome. We were waiting for evidence-based solutions. Those who experience substance abuse problems require treatment, not years in courts and jails. Instead of criminalization, we must invest in health-based programs, with a focus on racial equity,” he said. Adrienne Adams, President of the Municipal Council.

Likewise, the Ombudsman Jumaane Williams appreciated that more funds are directed towards clubhouses to support mental health, as spaces for New Yorkers struggling with serious mental illness.

However, he criticized that this plan should have included more support to open new rest centers, that operate through a model equipped to deliver immediate, walk-in crisis type of care.

“It is vital to support the mental health of young people, including through telehealth. We still have concerns about the agencies involved in identifying the need for services. It is vitally important that we support families, instead of policing or sanctioning them”Williams said.

Other “lifeline” to homeless families

In parallel, this week the New York City Council passed a bill that requires the city to fund mental health doctors at all shelters for homeless families with children.

Bill 522 was presented last year by the Council Member Erik Bottcher in association with Christine C. Quinn, President and CEO of Win, the largest provider of shelter and support services for homeless women and their children.

“Being homeless in and of itself is traumatic. Whether you are evicted, escape domestic abuse, flee to the United States and seek asylum, or seek shelter for another reason. There is trauma involved. We as a city owe these families access to the mental health care they need,” explained Quinn, Win’s president.

Law 522 requires the City fund mental health professionals at all family shelters of the city, with the equivalent of at least one full-time mental health professional for every 50 families with children.

This will provide on-site mental health services for more than 13,000 families living in shelters across the five boroughs. Services they would be available to families who choose to use them and would not be required.

The drafters of this legislation argue that unmet mental health needs may make it more likely that a family homeless again after leaving the shelter.

Besides, homeless mothers face mental health issuessuch as post-traumatic stress disorder, mild situational depression, severe anxiety disorders, and psychiatric conditions, at twice the rate of the general population.

Despite this higher rate of mental health problems, homeless families face more barriers to receive care than other New Yorkers.

“It is a tremendous step forward to invest in physicians who can provide families with psychotherapy at home in shelters, improve access to care during a tumultuous time, and help our homeless neighbors. move towards greater stability. referred Matt Kudish, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC).

In a nutshell: Details of the new mental health plan

  • “Care, Community, Action” is the name of the new mental health plan for New York City,” announced by Mayor Eric Adams.
  • $20 million will be invested in child and family mental health, addressing the overdose crisis, and supporting New Yorkers living with Serious Mental Illness (SMI).
  • In the coming months, the city will implement a pioneering program of Telehealth for New York City High School Adolescents which will provide ongoing support and serve as an entry point to higher levels of care.
  • The City Hall will also launch suicide prevention pilot programs Targeted at youth in crisis.
  • The city will double the number of connections for treatment for New Yorkers with serious mental illness.
  • The program is expanded Division of Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response (B-HEARD). This agenda builds on $370 million in other investments made in New York City’s continuity of care and crisis response.
  • As overdose deaths continue to rise across the country and in the Big Apple, the mayor also announced the city’s goal of reduce overdose deaths by 15 percent by 2025.

Source link

Elton Gardner

Elton Gardner is a seasoned writer and editor for He is a graduate of a prestigious journalism school and has contributed to numerous newspapers and magazines. Elton is an expert in various fields, including sports, entertainment, and technology. He is widely respected for his insights and engaging writing style. As an editor, Elton oversees a team of writers and ensures the website stays current with the latest trends and breaking news. His writing is characterized by its depth, clarity, and accessibility. Elton's spare time is spent with his family, playing sports, reading, and traveling to explore new cultures. With his talent, experience, and dedication, Elton Gardner is a prominent figure in online media and will continue to make waves in the years to come.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button