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Mayor: Even if they refuse, New York City will treat mentally ill people

By 11/29/2022 7:24 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

Mayor Eric Adams declared Tuesday that authorities would more aggressively intervene to get people into treatment to solve a mental health crisis on New York City’s streets and subways, citing “a moral imperative” to act even if it meant involuntarily hospitalizing some.

At a news conference, Adams noted that the persistent issue of mental illness has long been in the open.

“These New Yorkers and hundreds of others like them are in desperate need of treatment, yet routinely refuse it when it is offered.”

The mayor commanded, “No more passing by or turning your head.”

The mayor’s order represents the most recent effort to diffuse a situation that has been building for decades.

It would grant outreach staff, city hospitals, and emergency personnel, including police, the freedom to voluntarily admit anyone they believe to be a threat to themselves or incapable of caring for themselves to the hospital.

They cannot recognize that they require assistance and care because of the very nature of their ailments.

They continue to be lost, cut off from society, and plagued by delusions and distorted thinking without that assistance.

They frequently enter and exit prisons and hospitals.

Adams called it a “myth” that a person had to act in an “outrageously hazardous” or suicidal manner before a police officer or medical professional could intervene.

State law typically restricts authorities’ capacity to force someone into treatment unless they are a danger to themselves.

The city is creating a phone line as part of its plan so that police officer can speak with clinicians.

Those who support the homeless and those who fight for civil rights reacted cautiously to the mayor’s announcement.

The Legal Aid Society and other community-based defender services were among a coalition of neighborhood organizations that claimed the mayor was correct to note “decades of dysfunction” in mental health care.

They contended that lawmakers in the state “must no longer ‘punt'” in addressing the epidemic and passing legislation that would provide mental health patients with therapy rather than jail time.

The groups stated they were encouraged by Mayor Adams’ admission that the road to recovery and rehabilitation must be paved with least-restrictive services and community-based treatment.

The mayor announced that he has started sending teams of medical professionals and police officers to patrol the busiest metro stations in the city.

The city is also training police officers and other first responders to provide “compassionate care” in circumstances that might need the forcible removal of someone displaying signs of mental illness in public settings.

Adams remarked in launching the program, “It is not appropriate for us to see someone who needs help and passes past.”

The fact that untreated psychosis may be a terrible and debilitating disorder that frequently necessitates forcible intervention, closely supervised medical treatment, and long-term care cannot be denied anymore.

From the top down, we will alter the culture and do everything we can to ensure that those in need of care receive it.

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