Yesterday’s council oversight hearing regarding ThriveNYC gave Chirlane McCray and her deputies the chance to explain how they’ve spent $850 million on the city’s mental health initiative. Unfortunately, the hearing raised as many questions as it answered. But the core problem remains that ThriveNYC was designed with the wrong goals, and ignores the crisis of untreated serious mental illness.
The Facts You Need to Know
Funding: ThriveNYC’s funding is folded into different agencies’ budget lines to the extent that it is hard to untangle or define the success of the program. Read more.
Prevention: McCray defends ThriveNYC by saying that it helps to prevent serious mental illness, but there is little evidence that serious mental illness is preventable. Read more.
Failed: A combination of failures on the local, state, and federal levels make effective treatment of the seriously mentally ill prohibitively difficult. Read more.
“De Blasio’s $800 million ThriveNYC plan largely ignores the seriously ill and focuses on irrelevant sideshows, including training New Yorkers to identify the barely symptomatic.”
Susan Herman, the director of the office of Thrive NYC, to the City Council: "We are not a new mental health system."— J. David Goodman (@jdavidgoodman) March 26, 2019
Mayor Bill de Blasio to Brian Lehrer on Friday: "Before the Thrive initiative, there was not even a pretense of a mental health system in the city."
The Past is Present
“We emptied out our psychiatric hospitals with dismal results for their patients and for the quality of life in our cities. Here are some sane prescriptions for repairing the damage.”
And in other news...
“A New York county has declared a state of emergency over one of the worst measles outbreaks in the state in decades, banning unvaccinated minors from public places to help curb the spread of the disease.”