Gothamist: Mental Health Crisis Response is Still Predominantly Handled by Police

March 30, 2022

Baerga v. City of New York, Disability Justice, News, Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response

A man holding his head in his hands under a bridge


The $50.4 million pilot program Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division, or B-HEARD, began last summer in Harlem and is expanding to Washington Heights and South Bronx. The program boasts success in improving the response to mental health crisis, but statistics show that “from the start of the program in June through the end of March, in the precincts where B-HEARD is operational just 22.8% of mental health calls — 1,525 in all — were routed to B-HEARD instead of the police.”

NYLPI and Director of Disability Justice Ruth Lowenkron have advocated for a crisis response that removes police from the picture entirely:

“How dare anybody, let alone our tax-paying government agency, call something a non-police response with that kind of statistic?”

Read more at Gothamist and WNYC.

Learn more about the lawsuit NYLPI has filed against the NYPD on our website.


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