New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced the city’s new plan on Tuesday to treat mentally ill residents by hospitalizing them against their will, even if they pose no immediate safety risk others.
Under Adams’ directive, police officers, firefighters and New York City Health Department officials are authorized to involuntarily incarcerate mentally ill people if they “cannot provide for their basic human needs in a measure that harms them”.
Previously, city officials were allowed to hospitalize people with mental illness who were dangerously violent and considered an immediate threat to others. They were usually discharged from the hospital after a few days when their condition improved slightly.
Now, Adams’ directive allows “the removal of a person who appears to be mentally ill and who manifests an inability to provide the basic necessities of life, even when no recent dangerous acts have been observed” .
“If the circumstances support an objectively reasonable basis for concluding that the person appears to have a mental illness and cannot provide for their basic human needs to an extent that causes them harm, they may be referred for an assessment,” the guideline says. .
However, Adams et al. did not define “basic needs” or provide criteria for how city employees would determine whether these needs are being met.
In announcing his plan, Adams claimed the idea that city officials only had the authority to involuntarily hospitalize an individual if they were violent was a “myth” that “must be dispelled.”
Adams said at a press conference:
The common misconception persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent. This myth must be dispelled. Going forward, we will do everything we can to help those who suffer from mental illness and whose illness puts them at risk by preventing them from meeting their basic human needs.
We see them every day and our municipal workers know their stories: The man standing all day in the street in front of the building he was evicted from 25 years ago, waiting to be let in. The shadow boxer around the corner in Midtown, muttering to himself as he punches an unseen opponent.
People with serious mental illness have more than a right to exist or survive. They have the right to health care, housing and care. A right to dignity and respect. A right to safety and security.
Learn more: https://t.co/9ZECnw2ZNw pic.twitter.com/MK3CHA2XmI
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMaire) November 29, 2022
Adams announced that Governor Kathy Hochul (D) would provide New York with 50 new psychiatric beds to help with the mayor’s plan.
“We’re going to find a bed for everyone,” Adams said. Adams reportedly said city officials will ask hospitals to keep patients in beds until there is a plan to connect them to continuing care.
However, activist groups and local Democratic officials have spoken out against Adams’ plan to involuntarily hire the mentally ill.
“Who determines that they are dangerous to anyone other than themselves?” Democratic City Council member Diana Ayala said Policy. “I don’t know if picking people up and dragging them to the ER is even legal.”
Additionally, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) accused Adams of “playing fast and loose with the legal rights of New Yorkers.”
“The federal and state constitutions place strict limits on the government’s ability to detain people with mental illness — limits that the mayor’s proposed expansion is likely to violate,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman, in a statement. “Forcing people into treatment is a failed strategy to connect people to long-term treatment and care.”
Adams also announced that the city will launch a new hotline next year where police officers can receive “real-time access to review potential responses for people with mental health needs,” from the health department. and hospital workers.
Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.