Author: Britanny Holand
New York Mayor Eric Adams is well aware that the city is tackling a mental health crisis. Hence, he started to make a move on his plans and recently announced a directive that strictly instructed police and first responders to rescue individuals who were displaying severe symptoms of mental illness.
The city’s subways and streets are the primary areas focused on saving New Yorkers. Based on the plan, it doesn’t matter if the mentally ill patients give consent, or not because they will be taken to area hospitals, even involuntarily. No one will be left untreated and unsheltered.
Moreover, Mayor Adams believed that the very nature of mental illnesses made people suffering from one not realize the importance of intervention and support. That very fact motivated the involuntary hospitalization plan. Therefore, New Yorkers suffering from mental illness won’t have to remain lost and isolated from society. They will no longer be tormented by delusions and disordered thinking. Ultimately, these vulnerable and help-needing individuals can be saved from the cycle of going in and out of hospitals, and jails.
Keep reading to learn more about the involuntary hospitalization plan for mentally ill individuals.
More about the directive on the involuntary hospitalization plan
As for the directive on involuntary hospitalization plans for mentally ill individuals, the city’s mobile crisis teams—firefighters, police, and other emergency response personnel—will follow a step-by-step process to evaluate people showing mental health symptoms.
Besides that, part of the plan is to give mental health workers enhanced training to effectively assist and compassionately care for people suffering from mental health crises. The first responders are said to partner with clinical co-response teams.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone has been happy with the involuntary hospitalization plan.
As a matter of fact, the move was strongly criticized by some mental health professionals, stating that the city should be more focused on long-term solutions and not push people who refused to be treated. The CEO of the city’s Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Harvey Rosenthal, stated that the most striking concern about the plan is the destructive reliance on coercion and the involuntary use of hospitals which don’t address the fundamental issues.
Additionally, Donna Lieberman, the city’s Liberties Union Executive Director, also expressed being against the plan. The statement includes the decline in looseness with the legal rights of New Yorkers.
In short, the force and strict limits are the issues.
Mayor Adams replied to that concern and said that even if hospitalization is against the people’s will, they will not “abandon efforts” for hospitalizations.
After all, the focus on involuntary hospitalization of mentally ill individuals is those with unawareness or delusional misapprehension of their surroundings, physical condition, and health.
While there is some opposition to the plan, Rosenthal can’t help but address some good policies for involuntary hospitalization. Regardless, it is not enough because there is the belief that Mayor Adams’ overall approach misses the mark in addressing the mental health crisis. Also, according to Dr. Sue Varma, a board-certified psychiatrist, involuntary commitments have long existed for years, so there is a need to be careful of the plan as it can perpetuate further stigma and hesitancy in seeking treatment.
Sometimes, people don’t realize they need help. Drowned by their problems and own issues, it is quite challenging for them to realize that they need help. Because of that, it is quite tempting to agree with Mayor Adams’ plan. Yet, since there is strong disapproval about that, it is easy to see that it is like a plan made because of pressure to take a dramatic action or stand. So, it will consistently need to change.
Patients who are mentally ill should still be free to make their own decisions to respect their rights.