Posted 68 days ago
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) revealed a new plan Tuesday to remove people with severe, untreated mental illness from city streets and subways.
Under the plan, New York City agencies would be able to involuntarily hospitalize people who appear to be mentally ill and are a threat to themselves, even if they do not pose a risk to others around them.
In a Tuesday press conference, Adams directed city agencies such as the New York Police Department and emergency responders to bring the mentally ill to hospitals for extended emergency care.
Adams said that the city has a “moral obligation” to help those with severe mental illness get the “treatment and care” they need.
“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,” he said.
Adams added that the city will continue to try to convince the street homeless suffering from mental illness to “accept help voluntarily.”
Training for police officers, emergency medical services and other medical personnel will begin immediately, Adams said. But in a memorandum posted online, city officials said case law does not provide “extensive guidance” on removals for mental health evaluations.
According to the document, precedent does suggest a few circumstances that would support the claim that a person is unable to support their basic needs due to mental health issues, including “serious untreated physical injury, unawareness or delusional misapprehension of surroundings, or unawareness or delusional misapprehension of physical condition or health.”... (Read more)