NYC To Start Hospitalizing Mentally Ill Residents Involuntarily, Taking Them Off Streets, Adams Announces
Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City speaks on stage during The 2022 Concordia Annual Summit - Day 1 at Sheraton New York on September 19, 2022 in New York City.
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the city will begin to involuntarily hospitalize mentally ill residents.

In a press conference Tuesday, Adams announced that first responders in the city would be able to remove people who appear to be mentally ill and pose a danger to themselves. First responders will be able to remove individuals and take them to a hospital for evaluation, and the individuals will be held until a treatment plan is established.

“It is not acceptable for us to see someone who clearly needs help and walk past,” said Adams. “For too long, there’s been a gray area where policy, law, and accountability have not been clear, and this has allowed people in need to slip through the cracks. This culture of uncertainty has led to untold suffering and deep frustration. It cannot continue. We need to change that culture and clarify our expectations. No more walking by or looking away. No more passing the buck. Going forward, we will focus on action, care, and compassion. If severe mental illness is causing someone to be unsheltered and a danger to themselves, we have a moral obligation to help them get the treatment and care they need.”

“It begins with an immediate shift in how we interpret our obligation to those in need and calls upon our outreach workers to take deeper actions and more intensive engagement,” Adams continued. “We can no longer deny the reality that untreated psychosis can be a cruel and all-consuming condition that often requires involuntary intervention, supervised medical treatment, and long-term care. We will change the culture from the top down and take every action to get care to those who need it.”

Adams issued a directive to first responders Tuesday, outlining the procedures necessary for removing an individual for mental health concerns. According to the directive, New York state’s mental hygiene law, a peace officer, police officer, or mental health professional working on a mobile crisis outreach team may take an individual into custody or direct him to be removed for the purpose of a psychiatric evaluation if that person “appears to be mentally ill and is conducting themselves in a manner likely to result in serious harm to self or others.”

The directive instructs mobile crisis workers, police, firefighters, and EMS workers to escort or facilitate transport to the nearest hospital, to inform hospital staff of the person’s condition, and remain with him or her until he or she is admitted as a patient. Once the individual has been admitted, the city would instruct the hospital to keep that person in the hospital until they are in stable condition, and only release them once a long-term care plan is established, Adams said, via The New York Times.

On top of the new directives, Adams announced a hotline and new trainings to help first responders assess a situation before making a call about whether to remove an individual.

“[T]he common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent, suicidal, or presenting a risk of imminent harm. This myth must be put to rest. Going forward, we will make every effort to assist those who are suffering from mental illness and whose illness is endangering them by preventing them from meeting their basic human needs.”

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  NYC To Start Hospitalizing Mentally Ill Residents Involuntarily, Taking Them Off Streets, Adams Announces