Campaign Spotlight: Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response

October 13, 2021

Disability Justice, Health Justice, News, Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response

A mural panel in violet and red depicting a person having a mental health crisis in front of a background of police with guns drawn. Text reads: Visions for a Just NYC. October 2021. 87 River Street, Brooklyn NY, 11249.

Our latest pop-up art exhibit, Visions for a Just NYC, features five community-driven campaigns for justice that tackle some of the most urgent issues of our time. New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) works as a proud partner on each.

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week, but at NYLPI, we know the effects of mental health crises go beyond the span of a week. Comprehensive and accessible mental health care is a core tenet of NYLPI’s Health Justice program. We envision a future where mental health crisis response is met with care rather than violence.

Each year, the NYPD responds to more than ~200,000 calls relating to people experiencing mental health crises. When police act as first responders for people in mental health crisis, further trauma, ineffective care, violence —and all too often death — result.

Our Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response campaign focuses on stopping the ongoing police brutality on community members experiencing mental health crises, removing the police as the first responders to these crises, and creating an appropriate, comprehensive, and community-based response system.

NYLPI is a member of the Correct Crisis Intervention Today NYC coalition. CCIT-NYC proposes piloting a peer-driven mental health response program that replaces police with teams of trained peer specialists and independent emergency medical technicians, based on input from two 100-plus member community focus groups and a review of relevant research. Find more resources related to the CCIT-NYC proposal on our website.


We invite you to join us in taking action! 

Learn more about Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response on NYLPI’s website and by watching the video outlining our vision on YouTube.

Learn more about Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response and four more community-driven campaigns by visiting Visions for a Just NYC. With the backdrop of art and action, we invite you to come to River Street Park in Williamsburg the month of October. Free and open to the public.

Follow us and share your #Visions4JustNYC:
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