Correct Crisis Intervention Today-NYC Letter to Mayor Eric Adams and Deputy Mayor Eva Wong

CCIT-NYC, Disability Justice, News, Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response

CCIT-NYC | Correct Crisis Intervention Today

June 27, 2023

Dear Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Eva Wong:

The undersigned organizations respectfully urge you to revise your proposal to allocate  $27 million to expand the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division (B HEARD) pilot program. New York City’s focus must be on a true non-police, healthcare model  for responding to mental health crises, and sadly, at this juncture, B-HEARD is not such a program.

B-HEARD’s own reports underscore its flaws:

  • Nearly 85% of calls in B-HEARD precincts – during its limited hours of operation — continue to be directed to the New York Police Department (NYPD) two years after the  pilot commenced;
  • B-HEARD’s response time is nearly two times slower than response times for other  emergencies;
  • 50% of individuals continue to be transported to hospitals;
  • All statistics show a downward trend over the course of the pilot; and
  • City officials at various of the City Council’s recent hearings were unable to share how  your proposed additional funding of $27 million would be used and what the plans are for  improving B-HEARD, notwithstanding Public Health Commissioner Vasan’s admission  that “[t]he first pilot has revealed a number of areas for strengthening.”

The following aspects of the B-HEARD program must be revised so that the following flaws of the pilot are remedied and so that the City appropriately serves our residents and visitors with mental health diagnoses – and their families and loved ones. B-HEARD must:

  • substitute the 988 mental health crisis hotline for the police-run 911;
  • add trained peers with lived mental health experience as first responders; • ensure 24/7 operating hours; and
  • ensure response times comparable to the City’s response times for other emergencies of  8–11 minutes.

Notably, cities across the country – including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver – have adopted crisis response systems which limit police involvement to those instances where there is an imminent risk of serious physical harm.

It is neither fiscally prudent, nor ethically permissible, to allocate more money to B-HEARD  without revising it according to the principles articulated above.

Thank you for supporting our critical request.

Signed,

List of Organizations

  1. ACMH, Inc.
  2. Advocates for Children
  3. Advocates for Justice
  4. Break Free Foundation
  5. Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled
  6. Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York (CIDNY) 7. Community Access
  7. Concern Housing
  8. Equality for Flatbush (E4F)
  9. Family Benches
  10. Freedom Agenda
  11. GMHC
  12. Goddard Riverside
  13. Harlem Independent Living Center
  14. Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc.
  15. Henry Street Settlement
  16. Hour Children, Inc.
  17. Housing Works
  18. Howie the Harp
  19. Independence Care System
  20. Justice for Eudes Pierre
  21. Lantern Community Services
  22. Legal Action Center
  23. Long Island United to Transform Policing and Community Safety 25. National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, Inc. (NAMI-NYC) 26. New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) 27. New York Community Action Project
  24. New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI)
  25. People USA
  26. Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP)
  27. Project FIND
  28. Samaritan Daytop Village, Inc
  29. SURJ NYC
  30. The Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY) 35. Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project
  31. Urban Pathways
  32. Women & Justice Project

List of Individual Supporters

  1. Jake Aubrt
  2. Jilliana Alicea
  3. Anne-Marie Ama
  4. Katherine Bajuk
  5. Joelle Ballam-Schwan
  6. Sheina Banatte
  7. Laura D. Barbieri, Esq.
  8. Nova Benway
  9. John Betts
  10. Kimberly Blair
  11. Rebecca Bonanno
  12. Enid Braun
  13. Anastasia Brindley
  14. Christen Brown
  15. Marianne Butler
  16. Gerard A. Capelli
  17. Ashley Conrad
  18. Jeffrey Courter
  19. Amanda Cribb
  20. Laquanna Davis
  21. Jeff Deutchman
  22. Tara Donahue
  23. Carole Eady
  24. E. F. Castro Cruz
  25. Lily Fawcett
  26. Krista Febles
  27. Aldumen Gomez
  28. Wilfredo Gonzalez
  29. Jessica Gooden
  30. Lorie Goshin
  31. Tony Guarino
  32. MarinaHansen
  33. Katherine Hauer
  34. Tiffany Herbert
  35. Denver Jade
  36. Mel Johnston
  37. Marguerite Jolivert
  38. Yana Kachalova
  39. Gregory Kahn
  40. Falguni Kayasth
  41. Meghan Kennedy
  42. Laura Kitterle
  43. Kelly Lewis
  44. Diane Lilly
  45. Diane Louard-Michel
  46. Ruth Lowenkron
  47. Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, Esq. of ZMO Law PLLC (Attorney for the Estate of Miguel Richards) 48. Rosita Marinez
  48. Antonio Meyers
  49. Karin McFadden
  50. Daniel A. McGuinness, Esq. of the Law Offices of Daniel A. McGuinness, P.C. (Attorney for the Estate of Miguel Richards)
  51. Charles McMellon
  52. Nicole McVinua
  53. Asa Mendelsohn
  54. Matthew Minogue
  55. Nancy Morisseau
  56. Stanley Obijuru
  57. David Oestricher
  58. Enid Owens
  59. Matthew Oyer
  60. HeaSung Park
  61. Donette Perkins
  62. Cyrille Phipps
  63. RholanPierre
  64. Seth Pollack
  65. Susan Press
  66. Ethelyn Pugh
  67. Carla Rabinowitz
  68. Elizabeth Rhodes
  69. Oredolapo Roberts
  70. Lynese Robinson
  71. Margaret Seely
  72. Miles Stenhouse
  73. Pamela Stephens
  74. Jenn Sugijanto
  75. Beth Tambor
  76. Jeanette Toledo
  77. Akyla Tomlinson
  78. Hughes William
  79. Joseph Wilson
  80. Sharon Wilson
  81. Gabriela Woellner


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