Mayor Eric Adams announces expansion of mental health services in New York City

Thursday, March 2, 2023
Mayor Adams announces expansion of mental health services in NYC
Mayor Eric Adams announced his plan to help New Yorkers with mental illness.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams and Dr. Ashwin Vasan talked about the city's expanded plan to help New Yorkers with mental illness.

The mayor previewed his proposals during his State of the City address in January.

The city is calling it the most ambitious mental health plan they've ever had.

It's a plan to combat the open drug use many people see every day in the city, a plan to get the severely mentally ill out of the subways, and also a plan to prevent teen suicides.

"This plan represents the city's commitment to tackling the second pandemic of mental health needs in the wake of COVID-19, and it outlines a vision and a framework of a culture-shifting response for New York City," Dr. Vasan said. "We must treat mental health as foundational to our society's collective future, the same way we would our economy or the environment. We must act intentionally and ambitiously now, to shore up the system's

The mayor's initiative calls for expanding the city's supervised injection sites. He wants to see the city's overdose deaths decrease by 15%.

There will also be mental health resources for high school students experiencing depression.

The mayor also wants to expand clubhouses. They are centers for people with severe mental illness to go get employment and education resources.

"The COVID-19 pandemic - with the stress, isolation, and anxiety it brought so many of us - pushed mental health to the forefront of the conversation," Mayor Adams said. "When it comes to health, we can no longer ignore the brain and focus just on the body any longer; we must address the whole person, and the whole system. By investing in family and child mental health, addressing the overdose crisis, and supporting New Yorkers with serious mental illness, this plan focuses on where our need is greatest, going upstream to build a healthier city for all New Yorkers."

It comes after the mayor directed first responders and health care professionals to involuntarily hospitalize people who were clear dangers to themselves.

Some critics have called the new policy inhumane.

Adams recently gave a preview of the announcement.

"In the next few weeks, Dr. Vassan with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is going to expand what we're doing already, rolling out a comprehensive next phase of our plan, but the goal is, it is not humane to allow people to exist in conditions that they are a danger to themselves and others," Adams said.

The announcement is set to take place at noon on Thursday.

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