New York City Will ‘Hospitalize’ More ‘Mentally Ill’ People Involuntarily

14
678

From The New York Times: “Mayor Eric Adams announced a major push on Tuesday to remove people with severe, untreated ‘mental illness’ from the city’s streets and subways.

Mr. Adams, who has made clearing homeless encampments a priority since taking office in January, said the effort would require involuntarily ‘hospitalizing’ people who were a danger to themselves, even if they posed no risk of harm to others, arguing the city had a ‘moral obligation’ to ‘help’ them.

‘The common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary “assistance” unless the person is violent,’ Mr. Adams said in an address at City Hall. ‘Going forward, we will make every effort to “assist” those who are suffering from “mental illness.”’

The mayor’s announcement comes at a heated moment in the national debate about rising crime and the role of the police, especially in dealing with people who are already in fragile mental health. Republicans, as well as tough-on-crime Democrats like Mr. Adams, a former police captain, have argued that growing disorder calls for more aggressive measures. Left-leaning advocates and officials who dominate New York politics say that deploying the police as auxiliary social workers may do more harm than good.

. . . The policy immediately raised questions about who, exactly, would be swept up in it, and some advocates for people with ‘mental illness’ warned it could face legal challenges.

. . . The effort will also involve an increase in the use of Kendra’s Law, which lets courts mandate outpatient ‘treatment’ for those who are a danger to themselves or others and which was expanded by Albany lawmakers in April.

. . . Several advocates for people with ‘mental illness’ said that the mayor’s plan went too far and would prove counterproductive.

‘The mayor talked about a “trauma-informed approach,” but coercion is itself traumatic,’ said Harvey Rosenthal, chief executive of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services and a longstanding critic of involuntary confinement.

He said that the mayor’s approach relied on ‘the same failed system that’s overburdened and can’t address the people they already have now.’”

Support MIA

MIA relies on the support of its readers to exist. Please consider a donation to help us provide news, essays, podcasts and continuing education courses that explore alternatives to the current paradigm of psychiatric care. Your tax-deductible donation will help build a community devoted to creating such change.

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Billing Details

Donation Total: $20 One Time

14 COMMENTS

  1. He describes behaviors of people he’s decided are mentally ill, clearly is so brainwashed he wouldn’t know how much those behaviors are from iatrogenic damage, how much those people’s lives would have been improved if the programs that the mental health system doesn’t allow and are more cost effective would have been implimented, and which do correlate with recovery rather than with the spike in mental illness, and then he talks about living in dignity is something you can force on people with the mental health system……

    Giving the power to an industry which recently has had to pay more than 6 billion dollars for the false advertising of bipolar meds, whose treatment scientifically causes the very thing it is said to allegedly treat which is a chemical imbalance, that correlates with a spike in the occurrence of what it is said to heal (a mental illness), and that if the scientific and statistical data were taken seriously and acknowledged for what they really are, forced institutionalization would be seen as causing illegal damage to a person’s brain and against the law….. this isn’t going to solve anything but cause more of the problem and then as has always been the case cause more demand for the solution that a cause rather than a solution.

    Added to that, how many people do you have to have committed in order for it to add up to enough money that went the wrong way making things worse when it could have been invested in housing that they don’t have and aren’t going to get after “treatment?” How many of the people he says need to be picked up already have had “treatment” that didn’t work for them and that if it were put into housing and treatment that is non drug-company promoted but correlates with recovery would have left them more functional and with housing, and the city of New York with an idea of mental illness that creates understanding and the knowledge how to respond to such people that helps them rather than paranoia and more of the problem!?

    2018 there were 5,419 beds in psychiatric hospitals. There are more than 60,000 homeless people sleeping in New York’s municipal shelter system each night in September, and those are just the ones that are counted in legit shelter, not those sleeping anywhere else. It’s downright silly to put more money into what doesn’t help those people, further more, he describes behaviors such as people talking to themselves, or air boxing, and other completely non violent behaviors, and then condones them being forced on treatments that would what truly happens with such treatments be acknowledged would be against the law, and the UN has decided they SHOULD be. What about the people promoting this epidemic, the psychiatrists forcing people on treatments that shorten their life, disable them, take away their civil liberties to vie for something that correlates more with recovery, the drug companies, the wall street tycoons that bankrupt whole countries and start wars playing money games, he doesn’t mention their behavior at all but promotes stigma against non violent people that really in ways only disturb others who don’t want to see society can do that to people. “Come on lets do something positive and pick them up and force more of the treatment on them that correlates with their numbers increasing rather than recovery….” Added to this he was a police man for more than 20 years: how oblivious does one have to be to see that arresting people and forcing them into a system that statistically makes things worse isn’t going to be any different when you are advocating for it from the outside.

    I’m totally speechless when I read stuff like this. Would the world care to see what goes on in such people’s lives, what kind of humanity is lost defining what has happened in their lives as a mental illness, akin to saying if you have been bullied, physically assaulted or worked so hard you have wounds and bruises that there’s something wrong with your body, only in psychiatry they can’t and haven’t found the physical component other than what their treatments do: would the world care about such stuff there might be a different philosophy regarding how people understand each other and what’s considered functional, and that might actually promote enough human understanding of trauma in a form that is quite non violent compared with how it rears its head in those starting wars, causing famine, degrading the mother earth, promoting ingrained misunderstanding between different cultures and the rest. And would the world care to understand those that they simply find disruptive or disturbing but basically are non violent, it might stop the worse stuff. I don’t see that promoting asylums, wars, jails and the rest has been working…..

  2. I was a surprised to see that the NYC Mayor, Eric Adams, has devised a new plan for the involuntary commitment of homeless persons who cannot take care of themselves due to mental illness. In recent time there has been a great effort in this country to not institutionalize vast numbers of people in run down public facilities against their will as in the past. Starting in the 1960’s, after the introduction of new psychiatric medications and Social Security Disability (SSI), a vast exodus from the state hospitals was begun. With little or no planning, those who had no other resources were placed in for-profit private foster homes or residential hotels where they received little or none of the care they needed. Increasing, a large number who didn’t fit there or anywhere else were left to fend for themselves on the streets. Belatedly, public officials have been forced to cope with the problems of this vast number of displaced individuals. Unfortunately, it is doubtful that Mayor Adams or other public officials are prepared to deal with the magnitude or complexity of the problem. What is needed is not a return to the overcrowded state hospital and their abuse and neglect of the mentally ill of the past, but an upgraded hospital system and discharge to facilities offering ample mental health and other services. Otherwise, after a brief stint in the hospital to get symptoms under control, it is a return to the streets and a recurrence of problems. Also of concern is Mayor Adam’s idea of involuntary commitment following a brief evaluation by police officers. There have been too many complaints about commitments based on flimsy grounds and the outright dishonesty to hospitals where they are held against their will for extended periods of time.

    • Do you understand that: “a brief stint in the hospital to get symptoms under control” in the end doesn’t get symptoms under control, it suppresses them, normal expression in order to unburden oneself of underlying causes isn’t allowed, and you end up with things getting worse. Also, in the 1960s the introduction of new psychiatric medications isn’t why there was such an exodus from the state hospitals, it was because they found out that there were many people in there that had nothing going on. One used to be able for 500 dollars have a person committed for life. They found that many or most of the people had nothing going on with them, they just weren’t integrated with society, and when looked at there was nothing going on with them other than they hadn’t dealt with taking care of themselves for years. The new psychiatric medications didn’t fix people up then, doesn’t statistically fix people up now but if you find that there are a population of people that should never have been committed, and you have these new medications, the drug companies could act like they found this magical solution.
      I think the problem with homelessness is homelessness, not mental illness. For this mayor to play the public image game and continue to stereotype people he as a policeman never got to know, this only makes it worse for all homeless people. I think that the increase in the homeless is because of the pandemic, and now the proxy war of the West against Russia in Ukraine and the economic turns, to start using that as an excuse to give more power to the mental health system to pick up vulnerable people that their methods correlate with more of the problem, this is nothing but smoke and mirrors, and pretense. Neither has the mental health system helped those struggling with the horrors of homeless, or the pandemic or those stuck in war zones of suffering because of the consequent emotional turmoil from the economic down turns. It’s like the fundamentals being against abortion while making it impossible for many people to take care of children financially, while they promote wars in other countries. It’s those people that would overlook that the war in Iraq with all of its use of depleted uranium in missiles caused more birth defects in Fallujah than occurred from the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in WW2. And then they start fussing about abortion to make themselves look moral.

  3. “I agree. Let’s start by dropping all the fancy talk. 1. Who determines who we grab, and by what rules? 2. Where do we put the grabbed? 3. Who staffs where we put the grabbed? 4. What are the rules for letting the grabbed out? 5. What’s the budget for all this?”

    At least this guy’s honest.

    Anyone who thinks we should be happy about incremental change should spend a few minutes in the comments section of the NY Times under any article about “the mentally ill “. I thought I felt hopeless before I read that sh*t. Now I can’t even move.