Ruth Lowenkron Testified Regarding Proposed Mental Health Roadmap and B-HEARD to NYC Council

May 4, 2023

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

Ruth Lowenkron testifies

Ruth Lowenkron, NYLPI director of Disability Justice, shared written and oral testimony regarding New York City’s mental health crisis support services to the City Council Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction.

Ruth’s testimony details the shortfalls of the B-HEARD program and New York City’s long tradition of policing, criminalizing, and under- and mis-serving people with mental disabilities; her testimony includes why CCIT-NYC’s proposal for an alternative, non-police response system can address these problems, along with many links to relevant statistics and resources.

NYLPI appreciates the vast majority of the Committee’s proposed “Mental Health Roadmap” and shares below minor comments regarding the bills and resolutions we support, and details about the one bill we believe is premature and the one resolution which we oppose. We focus our comments, however, on what is missing from the Roadmap – a failure to address the critical need to transform New York’s mental health crisis response and to cease funding the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division (B-HEARD) pilot program in its current guise as it is a deeply flawed, as well as a failure to overturn the dangerous and illegal Involuntary Removal Plan announced by Mayor Adams in November 2022 permitting the involuntary removal of individuals who are merely perceived to have a mental illness diagnoses for psychiatric evaluation.

Read Ruth’s full testimony here.

Learn more about NYLPI’s campaign to Transform New York’s Mental Health Crisis Response here.

Read coverage about Baerga v. City of New York here.

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