Watch: NYC Mayor Eric Adams announces program to involuntarily commit mentally ill homeless people
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced on Tuesday that homeless people who are suspected to be experiencing a "mental health crisis" will be involuntarily committed to hospitalsif they refuse to seek treatment of their own accord. Emergency Medical Services personnel will provide training to police officers, firefighters, and other appropriate agencies to implement the new initiative.
“The common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent,” Adams said at a press conference. “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.”
Hizzoner's directive comes as the Big Apple grapples with surging income inequality, astronomical rents, crackdowns on tent communities, and spikes in attacks in the metropolis' labyrinthian Subway system. While most of New York's 50,000 homeless residents live in shelters, those who lack sufficient housing often take refuge in climate-controlled railcars.
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“When you do an analysis of the Subway crimes, you are seeing that it’s being driven by people with mental health issues," Adams said in October. But his edict applies to wayfarers who pose no threat to others as well, and it instructs healthcare facilities to not release patients until continuing care can be arranged. Adams also highlighted that people surviving on the streets frequently suffer and struggle without anybody to care for them.
“The man standing all day on the street across from the building he was evicted from 25 years ago waiting to be let in; the shadow boxer on the street corner in Midtown, mumbling to himself as he jabs at an invisible adversary; the unresponsive man unable to get off the train at the end of the line without assistance from our mobile crisis team: These New Yorkers and hundreds of others like them are in urgent need of treatment and often refuse it when offered,” the mayor said. “The very nature of their illnesses keeps them from realizing they need intervention and support. Without that intervention, they remain lost and isolated from society, tormented by delusions and disordered thinking.”
Adams further maintained that "it is appropriate to use this process when a person refuses voluntary assistance and it appears that they are suffering from mental illness and are a danger to themselves due to an inability to meet their basic needs. We believe this is the first time that a mayoral administration has given this direction on the 'basic needs' standard in official guidance."
Watch below or at this link.
Mayor Eric Adams Delivers Address on Mental Health Crisis in New York Citywww.youtube.com
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