Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Ray Kelly says the person Julius Graham, the homeless man who allegedly stabbed multiple individuals in Manhattan today (10/1/13) appears to be 'emotionally disturbed'. Following is info for those who want to understand why the NYS mental health system does such a poor job of preventing violence by persons with serious mental ilness. It is not lack of funding. It is lack of leadership.
NY has a “Tragedy Before Treatment” Mental Ilness Policy. We need a “Treatment Before Tragedy” System.
In NY hearing voices and being delusional is, not enough to get someone treatment if they don’t recognize they are ill. For that to happen, they have to force the issue by bringing on a tragedy. Rather than prevent violence, NY laws require it.
About 16% of all the people in Office of Mental Health psychiatric hospitals are forensic patients, who gained admission only after a tragedy occurred and a court process forced the state to admit them.
New York went from 600 beds per 100,000 population in the mid-1950s to fewer than 27 today. As a result, Rikers Island is New York’s largest psychiatric institution, holding more mentally ill people than all Office of Mental Health hospitals combined.
State mental health officials are proposing to close more psychiatric hospital beds, thereby making hospitalization even more difficult. They claim few of the existing beds are used, but that is only because the Office of Mental Health discharges patients “sicker and quicker” to artificially reduce the count. Experts say, to meet minimum standards, NYS needs 4300 more beds to serve those with serious mental illness. Here's what we need to do.