In the NY Times: A New Push to Improve Mental Health Care for Homeless New Yorkers

The Manhattan borough president on Tuesday is expected to announce a plan that he said will help expand access to psychiatric care and housing for severely mentally ill homeless people in New York City.

The proposal by the borough president, Mark Levine, was designed to address gaps in New York City’s social safety net in the wake of several high-profile incidents involving random attacks by homeless people with mental illness.

It calls for the creation of 240 long-term psychiatric beds in the public hospital system’s extended care units, where patients can be stabilized rather than discharged onto the streets, and the addition of intensive mobile treatment teams to care for those patients outside the hospital setting. Mr. Levine wants the city to double the number of those teams to 62, which would allow them to serve about 1,500 people. As of August, nearly 480 people were waiting to be assigned to such a team, records show.

“We have not invested in the kinds of interventions that put people back on the right path,” said Mr. Levine, a former city councilman who took office as borough president last year. “I am optimistic if we have the will we can get this right.”

Read the full article HERE.

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