What Matters for District 29

Mental Health

Serious Mental Illness

There are over 93,000 people with serious mental illnesses in NYC that aren’t receiving any form of treatment. Serious mental illness left untreated will lead to violence against others, suicide, homelessness, incarceration, and hospitalization. This is a serious issue that has been left in shambles by NYC.

If elected, I propose:

  • Expanding the use of Kendra’s Law adding specialized evaluators in city prisons, shelters and hospitals
  • Lobby Albany to make Kendra’s Law permanent
  • Create housing specifically for those with mental illnesses

Kendra’s Law allows courts to order certain individuals with serious mental illness, after extensive due process, to stay in treatment for up to a year while continuing to live in the community. Simultaneously, the court orders the mental health system to provide the treatment, thereby overcoming its reluctance to serve the most seriously ill or cherry-picking who is treated. It is less restrictive, expensive, and more humane than the alternatives: inpatient commitment or incarceration.   

Kendra’s Law is only for those seriously mentally ill who already accumulated multiple episodes of homelessness, arrest, incarceration, or hospitalization due to their failure or inability to stay in treatment that was offered to them voluntarily.