When New Yorkers Report A Mental Health Crisis, Who Should Respond?
NEW YORK, USA - Sep 22, 2017: Police officer performing his duties on the streets of Manhattan. New York City Police Department (NYPD) is the largest municipal police force in the United States

Local headlines in recent years have highlighted how a 911 call for assistance with someone exhibiting symptoms of a mental illness can end in tragedy. In New York City, at least 14 people with mental illnesses have been fatally shot by NYPD officers in the last three years. At the same time, 911 calls reporting “emotionally disturbed persons” have been on the rise, particularly in communities of color, a recent investigation by local news outlet The City found.

The city’s 24 mobile crisis teams (19 for adults and five for children) have so far demonstrated some clear benefits over police response to mental health calls. Mostly run by hospitals, their employees wear plainclothes, travel in vans, and don’t carry any weapons. And they tend to address people’s mental health crises very differently: While more than half of the city’s 911 calls related to mental health result in someone being taken to the emergency room—an ordeal that can be time-consuming for police and a revolving door for patients—only 2.3 percent of mobile crisis team visits last year ended in a trip to the ER, according to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Instead, they typically seek to conduct a mental health assessment on the spot, refer people to behavioral health resources in the community, and then follow up a few days later.

Read more on Gothamist.

Image editorial credit: Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.