I would eliminate ThriveNYC and integrate its intent/reallocate its funding to mental health resources in underserved communities and the school system.
The pandemic has forced healthcare providers to shift much of their psychiatric care to telehealth platforms to ensure their work with homeless and formerly homeless New Yorkers undergoing psychiatric care could continue to be safely cared for. This allowed them to reach more people, in more places, in a more flexible way. Virtual visits helped them maintain better continuity of care for patients.
We should embrace this trend and strive to use it to help as many struggling New Yorkers as possible, We have the resources to get them care and get them housed, we need it is only a matter of managing, delegating, and making it happen.
New York City’s mentally ill need better care and greater supervision. I plan to provide that by strengthening outpatient commitment through the highly successful Kendra's Law program and rebuilding New York’s inpatient capacity at general hospitals and state-run psychiatric centers. Inpatient psychiatric beds, which were already in short supply pre-Covid have been cut down, that needs to change.
With limited training, we ask our police to do the work of psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists. They are asked to clean up for society’s lack of investment in mental health, education, and economic opportunity. This needs to change. Continuing to ask them to handle overdoses, mental health crises, or homelessness is unreasonable and unfeasible. That is why I am in favor of re-allocation at least $1.3 billion away from the NYPD budget towards community-based Mental Health crisis response and restorative justice.
- 10,000 new beds for homeless mentally ill, in partnership with CBOs and non-profits
- Unarmed Rapid Response Teams to address mental health crises
- More mental health and guidance counselors in schools, ideally no fewer than 1 per 250 students