It appears that New York City is finally taking action to deal with its serious homelessness and mental illness crisis — as Mayor Eric Adams (D) has announced that the city will soon begin to hospitalize mentally ill residents involuntarily.
More mentally ill people will be involuntarily hospitalized in New York City under a new plan announced by Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday.
The directive will apply to people with severe mental illnesses, even if they don’t pose an immediate risk to others, Adams said. pic.twitter.com/KCiEIgz3rS
— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) November 29, 2022
During a press conference on Tuesday, the Democrat mayor announced that NYC’s first responders would now be allowed to remove individuals who appear to be mentally ill and pose a danger to themselves — transporting them to a hospital for evaluation and holding them until a treatment plan can be established.
In the press conference, Adams argued that “it is not acceptable for us to see someone who clearly needs help and walk past,” noting that a “gray area” has existed “for too long” in which the city’s “policy, law, and accountability have not been clear, and this has allowed people in need to slip through the cracks.”
“This culture of uncertainty has led to untold suffering and deep frustration,” the mayor added. “It cannot continue. We need to change that culture and clarify our expectations. No more walking by or looking away. No more passing the buck. Going forward, we will focus on action, care, and compassion.”
Adams went on to say that NYC has a “moral obligation” to help individuals get treatment and care if “severe mental illness” is causing them “to be unsheltered and a danger to themselves.”
“It begins with an immediate shift in how we interpret our obligation to those in need and calls upon our outreach workers to take deeper actions and more intensive engagement,” he continued. “We can no longer deny the reality that untreated psychosis can be a cruel and all-consuming condition that often requires involuntary intervention, supervised medical treatment, and long-term care. We will change the culture from the top down and take every action to get care to those who need it.”
Those suffering from severe mental illness have more than a right to exist or survive. They have a right to healthcare, housing, and treatment. A right to dignity and respect. A right to safety and security.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) November 29, 2022
On Tuesday, Adams issued a directive to first responders which outlined the procedures necessary to remove an individual for mental health concerns.
The directive cites New York state’s mental hygiene law, stating that a peace officer, police officer or mental health professional working on a mobile crisis outreach team is able to take an individual into custody or direct them to be removed for a psychiatric evaluation if that individual “appears to be mentally ill and is conducting themselves in a manner likely to result in serious harm to self or others.”
According to The Daily Wire, the directive also “instructs mobile crisis workers, police, firefighters, and EMS workers to escort or facilitate transport to the nearest hospital, to inform hospital staff of the person’s condition, and remain with him or her until he or she is admitted as a patient.”
Some of the initiatives here: pic.twitter.com/334tScqNnn
— katie honan (@katie_honan) November 29, 2022
After the mentally ill individual has been admitted, the city would instruct the hospital to keep the individual in the facility until they are in a stable condition — and to only release them after they establish a long-term care plan, according to Adams.
The mayor has also announced a hotline and new training to assist first responders in assessing a situation in order to make a determination about whether to remove an individual.
“The common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent, suicidal, or presenting a risk of imminent harm,” Adams said. “This myth must be put to rest. Going forward, we will make every effort to assist those who are suffering from mental illness and whose illness is endangering them by preventing them from meeting their basic human needs.”
The left is already accusing the Democrat mayor of being a “fascist,” targeting the poor and violating human rights for his actions. Some have even argued that it is a “move backward for disability rights.”
There is NOTHING "moral" or "compassionate" about forced institutionalization, @NYCMayor. Don't blame mental illness when human needs aren't being met due to flawed leadership & dire lack of supports & services. A scary move backward for disability rights. https://t.co/OijIg94mTJ
— Emily Ladau (@emily_ladau) November 29, 2022