Thursday, November 12, 2015

DeBlasio Mental Health White Paper Ignores Serious Mental Illness

The new white paper on mental health issued by the De Blasio administration November 12, 2015, shows it intends to continue the policy of ignoring the most seriously mentally ill and focusing  on all others. For example, the report identifies HS students who feel sad as a priority, but not the homeless psychotic who are eating out of dumpsters. Following are data points and solutions ignored by the White Paper and the administration. Let us know if you need help reporting on this.
  • 4% of NYC adults have serious mental illnesses that profoundly affect their functioning. They are not mentioned in the report which only addresses people who need mental health improved. 
  • 93,000 city residents who suffer from the most serious mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder, received no treatment in the past year.  
  • NYC adults with serious mental illness are more likely to report not getting needed medical care in the past year than those without SMI (21 percent vs. 11 percent)
  • While the number of people incarcerated in NYC jails has gone down since 2010, the percentage of prisoners with mental illness shot up 30 percent from 2010 to 2014. 
  • An estimated 4,000 city residents should be in Kendra’s Law but New York City has helped fewer than 1,400 get in. (State figure divided by half)
  • Kendra’s Law reduced homelessness, arrests, incarceration, and hospitalization by about 70 percent each in people with serious mental illness. It saves taxpayers 50 percent of the cost of care.  

People with serious mental illness in NYC need to be prioritized, not ignored. (Full recommendations)
  • Make access to city hospitals easier for the most seriously ill
  • More robustly implement Kendra’s Law
  • Provide greater scrutiny of patients involuntarily admitted to hospitals before they are discharged.
  • Make greater use of Conditional Discharge from hospital
  • Provide greater scrutiny and evaluation of inmates who received mental health services while incarcerated before they are let go from incarceration.
  • Support and expand Fountain House