Another Unnecessary Tragedy

The Story

Saheed Vassell, a man suffering from bipolar disorder, was killed by the police in Brooklyn this week after running around and pointing what looked like a gun at people on the street, though it turned out to be a metal rod. The victim’s father acknowledged that his son had been hospitalized for his mental illness but refused to take his medication. This tragic incident again illustrates the need for intensive implementation of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), governed locally under Kendra’s Law.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Denial: Between 40% and 50% of people with serious mental illness suffer from anosognosia, or failure to recognize their own condition. Read more.

  2. Help: Assisted Outpatient Treatment can reduce hospitalization and incarceration by 70%. Read more.

  3. Too Strict: New York State law applies an unreasonably high bar to getting people into treatment. Read more.

“Kendra’s Law. . . . is less restrictive and more humane than inpatient commitment or incarceration.”

DJ Jaffe, Manhattan Institute adjunct fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

A Successful Experiment By E. Fuller Torrey (Winter 1999)

“Psychiatrically ill homeless people wander through New York City’s streets in such sad profusion for a reason: New York doesn’t have an outpatient commitment law.”

And in other news...

“Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks the Island’s three-year, $3.3-million deer vasectomy program is still the “best plan” and worth the investment to curb the borough’s surging deer population despite it running over budget in only the second year.”