New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced an initiative that would give the city more leeway to involuntarily hospitalize severely mentally ill people on the city’s subways and streets, even if they do not appear to pose an immediate danger to others.
“My administration is determined to do more to assist people with mental illness, especially those with untreated psychotic disorders, posing a risk of harm to themselves, even if they are not an imminent threat to the public,” Adams said Tuesday. “It is not acceptable for us to see someone who clearly needs help and walk past. For too long, there has been a gray area where policy, law and accountability have not been clear and this has allowed people in need to slip through the cracks.”
Adams, a former police officer, said the city will be training Emergency Medical Services staff and other medical personnel to “ensure compassionate care.” He said the policy he’s proposing “explicitly states” when it is appropriate to use this process to hospitalize a person suffering from mental illness even if they do not want to go.