New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently announced that he will remove people with severe, untreated mental illness
from the streets and subways and send them to hospitals for psychiatric evaluations involuntarily or without their consent.
This "major effort"
just means that potentially mentally unstable people will be forced "rescued" and hospitalized, even if they do not pose an immediate risk of harm to others just because Adams said his government has "a moral obligation to address a crisis we see all around us."
"The common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent," Adams said during his speech at the City Hall. "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."
According to the mayor, the local government unit would train police officers, Emergency Medical Services staff and other medical personnel immediately to "ensure compassionate care."
But it is important to note that the new directive on the policy acknowledges that "case law does not provide extensive guidance regarding removals for mental health evaluations based on short interactions in the field."
Last month, Adams said the main cause of increasing crime rates in the subways this year is mental illness. "When you do an analysis of the subway crimes, you are seeing that it’s being driven by people with mental health issues," he said in an interview
. (Related: More and more people are becoming HOMELESS as America’s economic condition worsens
Also, during a press conference following his announcement, Adams promised to ensure there were enough beds in the hospitals as healthcare providers cited the shortage of psychiatric beds
as the main reason for discharging patients immediately. He added that Gov. Kathy Hochul had agreed to add 50 new beds.
Brendan McGuire, chief counsel to the mayor, tackled the legality of holding people involuntarily and said people would be held under a state mental hygiene law that allows for involuntary commitment if they are a threat to themselves or others. The city government will also be using Kendra's Law, which lets courts mandate treatment for those who are a danger to themselves or others.
Adams' coercive measures draws criticisms from experts, lawmakers
Harvey Rosenthal, chief executive of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services and a longstanding critic of involuntary confinement, said the latest announcement by Adams would prove counterproductive.
"The mayor talked about a 'trauma-informed approach,' but coercion is itself traumatic," Rosenthal said. "This work is all about relationship and engagement and trust and reliability and putting in place this continuity of service – that's what's going to get us out of this, not more hospital beds and more Kendra's Law orders."
He said that the approach relied on "the same failed system that's overburdened and can't address the people they already have now."
New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman also condemned the mayor's plan.
"The mayor is playing fast and loose with the legal rights of New Yorkers
and is not dedicating the resources necessary to address the mental health crises that affect our communities," Lieberman said in a statement. "The federal and state constitutions impose strict limits on the government's ability to detain people experiencing mental illness."
These are limits that the proposed expansion is likely to violate, she added. "Forcing people into treatment is a failed strategy for connecting people to long-term treatment and care."
Even city lawmakers disagree
as the plan seems to have loopholes. City Council Member Diana Ayala asked: "Who's determining that they're dangerous to anybody but themselves? I don’t know that picking folks up and dragging them to the ER is even legal."
She added that it is not the job of law enforcement to address social service and public health issues. "They're not mental health providers and quite frankly – from what I hear from officers on the streets – it's not something they want to do either," she pointed out.
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Watch the video below that talks about Adam's New York Tent City where homeless migrants are given free shelter, food and even Xbox
This video is from the SecureLife channel on Brighteon.com
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