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Expand Eric Adams’ drive to treat NYC’s seriously mentally ill, even if they resist

Bad news: Treating the seriously mentally ill living on our streets is still a crisis.

Good news: Mayor Eric Adams is pushing things in the right direction.

The B-HEARD program he introduced, which dispatches trained mental-health professionals to assist the police with calls for emotionally disturbed persons — and puts them in hospitals if necessary — is being rolled out across the city.

The Post reported Friday that B-HEARD teams, made up of two EMS workers and a mental-health professional, were able to respond to 1,700 calls in 2022. 

Unfortunately they weren’t able to respond to 600 other calls because of limiited resources, but we see that as proof that the program needs to expand and continue.

A little patience is deserved, because this administration must clean up the criminal negligence of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

In Cuomo’s case, funding cuts took away psychiatric hospital beds. Plus, 1,050 beds meant for mental-health treatment were redirected for COVID, and only 200 returned. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul, with Adams’ backing, looks to restore many of those beds in the new state budget.

De Blasio, meanwhile, squandered $850 million on his wife, whose idea of mental-health treatment was a telephone number and billboards.

As for the people who really needed help? If they told police or social workers they wanted to sleep on the streets or in the subway, de Blasio let them.

This isn’t compassion, neither for the people in need or the people of New York.

Those who are suffering from schizophrenia are not in a position to make that decision for themselves.

So keep at it, Mayor Adams.

Keep expanding B-HEARD and getting people into treatment.

That means that the mentally ill get help. There is less disorder on the streets.

It makes it less likely for there to be tragic encounters, as in the case of Jordan Neely. It is perhaps the most important thing you can do as mayor.



This story originally appeared on NYPost

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