Statement by DJ Jaffe, Executive Director, Mental Illness Policy Org., author, Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill

Mental Illness Policy Org thanks Republican Mayoral Candidate Nicole Malliotakis for proposing smart, workable solutions to help the seriously mentally ill. Unlike Mayor de Blasios’ “ThriveNYC” plan, the Malliotokis “Treatment B4 Crisis” plan (below) focuses city mental health resources on delivering treatment to those who are the most seriously ill rather than the highest functioning and least symptomatic. Because of that laser-like focus, and reliance on cost-effective evidence-based practices, it will have a much greater impact on reducing homelessness, arrest, incarceration, needless hospitalization and suicide. Her plan will keep the public, police, and patients safer while saving taxpayers money.

Among the solutions she proposes is mandatory evaluation of prisoners with mental illness and involuntarily committed  patients who are being released to see what services they need to stay safe in the community.   These are the two highest risk groups. She also supports greater use of Kendra’s Law which has reduced homelessness, arrest and incarceration of the mentally ill in the 70% range. Her  plan includes easier access to  psychiatric hospitals, housing, and support for programs like Fountain House that serve the seriously mentally ill.

We families of the seriously mentally ill thank Ms. Malliotakis  for proposing a plan to send our seriously mentally ill loved ones to the head of the lines for services, rather than to jails, shelters, prisons and morgues. While we don’t endorse specific candidates, we wholeheartedly endorse this thoughtful plan to provide better care and improve our communities.

# # #
Mental Illness Policy Org. is a non-partisan independent think-tank that provides the media, policymakers and public with unbiased actionable research on serious mental illnesses and addresses difficult issues including involuntary commitment, violence, hospitalization, homelessness and other issues that disproportionately affect the most seriously mentally ill.

DJ Jaffe, is author of Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill and has been advocating for better care for the seriously mentally ill for over thirty years. He is Executive Director of Mental Illness Policy Org., and has a seriously mentally ill relative.

(August 14, 2017)

Open PDF