Rodriguez "Randy" Santos, AP
Post Editorial Board
- “Having an open conversation about mental health.”
- Encouraging people to call an (already in existence) 800 number for advice and support.
- Nebulous “training” for personnel to recognize the signs of, say, depression.
- The city should robustly expand its use of Kendra’s Law, the state’s most effective tool for preventing the seriously mentally ill from becoming violent. This law lets judges put the seriously mentally ill with histories of going off treatment (and thereby losing their ability to stay balanced) into mandatory, monitored treatment. Individuals under Kendra supervision are four times less likely to commit violent acts than untreated ones. Yet the latest Mayor’s Management Report shows the city is cutting back the numbers it has under such supervision.
- Require mandatory evaluation of all mentally ill leaving jail or involuntary hospital commitment, to see what services (including Kendra’s Law supervision, if appropriate) each needs to stay safe in the community. These are the two highest-risk groups.
- Provide more housing slots for mentally ill individuals who are going through mental health courts.
- Stop the loss of mental health beds in hospitals and other facilities. That means getting the state, which has seen a steady drop in beds under Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to reverse course. And the city should, for example, get NewYork-Presbyterian to drop its plan to close Allen Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Inwood.