WATCH: NYC redefines criteria for involuntary treatment of mentally ill homeless

Mental Health New York
FILE – A homeless outreach worker and New York police officer assist passengers found sleeping on subway cars at the 207th Street A-train station, Thursday, April 30, 2020, in the Manhattan borough of New York. In New York City’s latest effort to address a mental health crisis on its streets and subways, Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, that authorities would more aggressively intervene to help people in need of treatment, saying there was “a moral obligation” to do so, even if it means providing care to those who don’t ask for it. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) John Minchillo/AP

WATCH: NYC redefines criteria for involuntary treatment of mentally ill homeless

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced a plan Tuesday for the city’s current mental health and homelessness crises.

Adams explained during a press conference that there is a “misunderstanding” about the criterion for involuntary assistance. According to him, there is a myth that says, “We cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent, suicidal, or presenting a risk of imminent harm.”

He claimed that the city will also involuntarily assist those “whose illness is endangering them by preventing them from meeting their basic human needs.”

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“People with severe and untreated mental illness who live out in the open, on the streets, in our subways, in danger, and in need,” he said.

“We will continue to do all we can to persuade those in need of help to accept services voluntarily. But we will not abandon them if those efforts cannot overcome the person’s unawareness of their own illness,” he clarified.

Aside from emphasizing the ability to meet basic needs in the criterion for involuntary hospitalization, Adams’s plan includes mandating clinicians to consider many factors when evaluating involuntary admissions, requiring screenings of all psychiatric patients before being discharged regarding the possible need for assisted outpatient treatment, allowing a broad list of trained mental health professionals to evaluate and subsequently remove people deemed to be in crisis, and having hospitals let community providers know when clients are admitted and released.

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The mayor further thanked Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) for both her leadership and support, adding that without them, the city wouldn’t have as many resources to initiate its plan.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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