A Plan for New York City’s Seriously Mentally Ill
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican nominee and the clear alternative to Bill de Blasio in the race for mayor, held a Monday morning news conference on the steps of New York’s City Hall to release her Treatment B4 Crisis Plan for New York City’s seriously mentally ill population. The 12 point plan is geared at refocusing the city’s efforts on the seriously mentally ill as opposed to the de Blasio administration’s concentration on the high functioning mentally ill. In her remarks, Assemblywoman Malliotakis said, “Under the de Blasio administration we have witnessed a growth in incidents with seriously mentally ill individuals who have become lost in a system that is mostly geared for the high functioning mentally ill. When these individuals act out they put all New Yorkers at risk.”
Joining Assemblywoman Malliotakis at the news conference were DJ Jaffe, Executive Director of Mental Illness Policy Org. and author of the book Insane Consequences, Erik Tjornhom, Sr., a former member of the NYPD and a Mental Health Social Worker and David Hochauser a former member of the American Red Cross of Greater New York.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “Everyday New Yorkers witness the realities of mental illness on the streets of our city and through reports in the media. The seriously mentally ill make headlines far too often. Usually for actions that cause us to shake our head and say, how was this allowed to happen.
“Today, I am releasing the Treatment B4 Crisis Plan which lays out a 12 point plan for addressing an individual’s mental health issues before they reach a crisis point. Among the points included in the plan, is a more robust implementation of Kendra’s Law, a more proactive approach to mental health evaluation and care in city facilities; requiring more supportive housing units be allocated to those with mental illness and an expanded psychiatric capacity in city hospitals operated by the Health & Hospitals Corporation.
“Under the de Blasio administration we have witnessed a growth in incidents with seriously mentally ill individuals becoming lost in a system that is mostly geared for the high functioning mentally ill. When these individuals act out, they put all New Yorkers at risk. Especially the men and women of the NYPD who have become the city’s first line of defense in a problem better suited for social workers and medical professional trained to deal with the mentally ill. In just the past few months, we lost our beloved Police Officer Familia and EMT Arroyo who were both murdered by seriously mentally ill individuals who had been through the revolving door of arrest and treatment that did nothing to help them cope with their illness. This past Thursday, another police officer, Hart Nguyen was shot three times by an emotionally disturbed man but thankfully his bullet proof vest saved him.”
Executive Director of Mental Illness Policy Org., DJ Jaffe said, “Mental Illness Policy Org thanks Nicole Malliotakis for proposing smart, workable solutions to help the seriously mentally ill. Unlike Mayor de Blasio’s ThriveNYC plan, the Malliotakis plan focuses city mental health resources on those who are the most seriously ill, rather than the highest functioning and least symptomatic. Because of that, it will have a much greater impact on reducing homelessness, arrest, incarceration, and suicide. Her plan will keep the public, police, and patients safer. Among the solutions she proposes is mandatory evaluation of prisoners with mental illness and involuntarily committed patients who are being released to see what services they need to stay safe in the community. These are the two highest risk groups. She also supports easier access to psychiatric hospitalization and greater use of Kendra’s Law which has reduced homelessness, arrest and incarceration of the mentally ill in the 70% range.
“We families of the seriously mentally ill thank Ms. Malliotakis for helping to send our seriously mentally ill loved ones to the head of the lines for services, rather than to jails, shelters, prisons and morgues.”