NYS Council Statement

December 6, 2022

NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare Calls on the Adams Administration to Abandon Ineffective Involuntary Treatment and Invest in Evidence-based Community Solutions

Involuntary commitment is often traumatizing, and largely ineffective in addressing mental illness.  Like many mayors across the country, Mayor Adams is under mounting public pressure to find solutions to both mental illness and homelessness.  But instead of addressing the root causes, his plan defaults to criminalization and segregation. New Yorkers deserve more than a revolving door of involuntary commitment for the city’s most vulnerable. We deserve comprehensive, evidence-based solutions. 

For the past decade, the city and state have steadily moved in the direction of increasing community-based care by investing in supportive housing, mobile crisis treatment, crisis respite, and recovery-based mental health treatment. Continuously rising socioeconomic inequality and insufficient access to voluntary treatment haven’t disproved the effectiveness of community-based approaches. 

We call on the Adams administration to engage mental health and housing experts in revising their approach to addressing persons experiencing mental health crises in the community. A comprehensive solution includes increased investments in housing including the necessary timely mobile supports, voluntary treatment, and attention to the social determinants of health including access to food and social supports. Investing in increased police presence and the revolving door of incarceration and hospitalization will never resolve NYC’s greatest social challenges.

The NYS Council is a statewide membership association representing 120 community-based mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction agencies across New York.  For more information, contact Lauri Cole, Executive at (518) 461-8200, or go to:  www.nyscouncil.org