Left Menu
Development News Edition

New York City to try responding to mental health calls without police

Currently, New York police officers and emergency medical technicians respond to nearly all 911 calls involving a mental health issue, regardless of whether there is a risk of violence. De Blasio and the city's first lady , Chirlane McCray, said in the statement that the responders would have the expertise to deal with a range of situations, including suicide attempts, drug abuse and physical problems which can mask mental health issues.

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 11-11-2020 01:35 IST | Created: 11-11-2020 01:17 IST
New York City to try responding to mental health calls without police
File Photo Image Credit: Pixabay

Mental health and crisis workers in New York City will respond to emergency mental health calls instead of law enforcement under a pilot program announced on Tuesday, following months of protests around the country over police brutality. The program, slated to begin in February, will be composed of new mental health teams from the Fire Department's Emergency Medical Services unit and will target two "high-need" neighborhoods, which were not identified.

"For the first time in our city's history, health responders will be the default responders for a person in crisis, making sure those struggling with mental illness receive the help they need," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. The move comes as New York and other large cities seek to reform their police departments after the May death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis and other incidents sparked nationwide protests.

The national debate over how to improve policing has in part centered on how to prevent mental health calls from escalating into violent confrontations with police. Currently, New York police officers and emergency medical technicians respond to nearly all 911 calls involving a mental health issue, regardless of whether there is a risk of violence.

De Blasio and the city's first lady , Chirlane McCray, said in the statement that the responders would have the expertise to deal with a range of situations, including suicide attempts, drug abuse, and physical problems which can mask mental health issues. The mental health responders will be accompanied by a police officer if there is a weapon involved or "imminent risk of harm," the statement said.

The city is modeling the trial after programs in other cities, including one in Eugene, Oregon, in which unarmed mental health professionals respond to mental health calls instead of the police.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

China: A savior for emerging markets or a poison pill?

... ...

Future of Urban Planning: Artificial Intelligence guiding the way

Advances in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help us understand our cities better and derive useful insights from real-time data collected through automated models....

Videos

Latest News

Judge rejects NRA bid to end or move New York lawsuit seeking its closure

A New York state judge on Thursday rejected the National Rifle Associations bid to dismiss or move a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James seeking to dissolve the gun rights group. Justice Joel Cohen of Manhattan Supreme Court ...

Politics of lies should be discarded in India: Akhilesh

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said on Thursday that like in the US, the politics of lies and hatred should also be discarded in India.Yadav alleged that the BJP had gained power through the politics of lies and hate.The US is the...

Nepal PM Oli thanks India for Covishield vaccine

Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli on Thursday thanked the Indian government for sending 1 million doses of Covishield vaccine under a grants assistance programme.I thank Prime Minister Shri narendramodi ji as well as the Government and people of ...

Russia detains allies of Kremlin foe Navalny in protest warning

Russia detained two allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Thursday and threatened to prosecute others over calls made online to join unauthorised protests to demand his release. Navalny, President Vladimir Putins most prominent ...

Give Feedback