nydailynews.com nydailynews.com 31 Dec, 2020 11:45 am

What the seriously mentally ill demand and deserve

What the seriously mentally ill demand and deserve
Headlines covering seemingly random instances of violence on the subway and the streets occur with some regularity. Some of the individuals behind these acts had untreated mental health disorders. It should come as no surprise that people regularly fall through the gaps in our behavioral health treatment system, when that same system has been plagued for decades by chronic underfunding.

Some of the individuals behind these acts had untreated mental health disorders.The looming fourth wave of the pandemic, which will usher in a flood of increased mental health diagnosis, coupled with increased distress among people with severe mental health concerns, demands we act now.Sufficient funding for mental health services must be part of our COVID response and recovery efforts.Unfortunately, city and state leaders routinely fail to prioritize funding for essential mental health services.

The city estimates that hundreds of thousands of people with mental health concerns are not connected to care.The impact of inadequate funding means too many can’t access services; it also creates instability in the mental health services field, where staff turnover is alarmingly high (42% annually in NYC), because salaries are incredibly low.

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