New York Metropolis’s new psychological well being groups will now reply to psychological well being crises — not ill-equipped cops
It might have felt literal years have handed for the reason that unjust and tragic loss of life of George Floyd, nevertheless it’s been a mere six months; and since, the Could 25 killing has sparked nationwide outrage and nationwide protests, with many calling to defund the police. And one of many goals of the defund the police motion? Sending psychological well being consultants — as an alternative of ill-equipped cops — to reply to 911 calls which might be each mental-health associated and nonviolent. In response, one main U.S. metropolis — the place at the very least 16 folks scuffling with psychological well being points have been fatally shot within the final four-and-a-half years — is lastly making stated transfer.
New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio introduced this week that town will now reply in a different way to New Yorkers experiencing psychological well being crises. Starting February 2021, the brand new Psychological Well being Groups of Emergency Medical Providers (EMS) well being professionals and psychological well being disaster employees will now be dispatched by means of 911 to reply to psychological well being emergencies in choose communities.
Psychological well being emergencies aren’t against the law and so they should not be handled like one.
Below the management of @NYCFirstLady and our NYC Psychological Well being groups, we’ll basically change how we deal with psychological well being crises in New York Metropolis. pic.twitter.com/gwx0tbxPUA
— Mayor Invoice de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 10, 2020
“That is the primary time in our historical past that well being professionals would be the default responders to psychological well being emergencies, an strategy that’s extra compassionate and efficient for higher long run outcomes,” stated First Woman Chirlane McCray in a ready assertion.
Immediately is a day that has been a very long time coming. I’m proud to announce that, beginning early subsequent 12 months, we’ll launch new Psychological Well being Groups that can reply to 911 psychological well being calls throughout choose neighborhoods. This breakthrough is a testomony to partnership and teamwork.
— Chirlane McCray (@NYCFirstLady) November 10, 2020
Based on town’s press launch, the brand new Psychological Well being Groups will take the place of NYPD officers and FDNY Emergency Medical Providers Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), who at present reply to almost all psychological well being 911 calls. The brand new Psychological Well being Groups won’t solely use their bodily and psychological well being experience and expertise in disaster response to de-escalate emergency conditions, however they can even assist scale back the variety of occasions police might want to reply to 911 psychological well being calls. The Groups will reply to the whole lot from behavioral well being issues resembling suicide makes an attempt, substance misuse, and critical psychological sickness, to bodily well being issues.
In conditions involving a weapon or imminent danger of hurt, nevertheless, the brand new Groups will reply with NYPD officers.
“One in 5 New Yorkers wrestle with a psychological well being situation. Now, greater than ever, we should do the whole lot we will to achieve these folks earlier than disaster strikes,” stated Mayor Invoice de Blasio. “For the primary time in our metropolis’s historical past, well being responders would be the default responders for an individual in disaster, ensuring these scuffling with psychological sickness obtain the assistance they want.”
After all, the brand new program was has been met with some criticism.
#BREAKING PBA STATEMENT ON MENTAL HEALTH RESPONSE PLAN pic.twitter.com/vXQNEGfwno
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) November 10, 2020
Based on Patrick J. Lynch, president of Police Benevolent Affiliation, the NYPD’s largest union, this system will “undoubtedly put our already-overtaxed EMS colleagues in harmful conditions with out police help.”
“We’d like an entire overhaul of the remainder of our psychological well being care system, in order that we may help folks earlier than they’re in disaster, quite than simply choosing up the items afterward,” the PBA assertion reads. “On that entrance, the de Blasio administration has carried out nothing however waste money and time with ThriveNYC and related applications. We have now no confidence that this long-delayed plan will produce any higher outcomes.”
When you or somebody you realize is contemplating suicide, please contact the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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