New York City’s only Support and Connection Center situated in East Harlem has offered renewed hope on issues of mental health.
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene opened the facility in 2020. It was as part of its ongoing effort to address drug abuse and mental illness.
Mental health issues are more severe than ever coming out of the pandemic. However, clients claimed to have seen life-changing results.
Staff from the nonprofit Project Renewal cater their care around what the client wants. Clients are surrounded with supportive services, addressing medical, behavioral and housing needs.
New York City’s acting executive deputy commissioner for mental health Dr. Michael McRae said, “That really breaks the cycle of criminal legal system involvement and unnecessary hospital trips for individuals with serious mental illness and substance use.”
McRae says clients leave after five days, but they can check themselves back in whenever they want. The goal is to give them a team to succeed on their own terms.
New York City plans to expand the capacity at the Support and Connection Center from ten to 25 once COVID restrictions are lifted.
A second Support and Connection Center will open in the Bronx later this year.