We believe in a person-centered approach to healthcare to assist people living with mental illness. Integral to the goal of person-centered healthcare is the ability for people living with a mental illness to access the most appropriate treatments to advance their specific recovery. Healthcare projects NAMI-NYC supports include:
Through research we conducted, we advocate for several items that would enhance the overall psychiatric emergency room experience for peers, including improvements in wait times, bed availability, quality of care, community resources, and intermediary services.
NAMI-NYC’s Board Advocacy Committee and member organizations of Manhattan Together originally launched a survey in September 2019 to capture the experiences of patients and their supporting friends and family members after visiting psychiatric emergency rooms across New York City. From the first survey and other anecdotal information, the items that we believe would enhance the overall psych ER experience for peers include:
We’re launching the second part of our psychiatric Emergency Room survey in Spring 2023 to collect more data that we will share with legislators and hospital executives in order to demand improvements in quality of care standards in psych ERs.
Themes we’re focusing on include fewer closures, better staff to patient ratio, more humane treatment, and knowledge of follow-up resources in the community, e.g. supportive housing, alternatives to crisis care, mental health professionals, and more.
Mental Health Equity
We are advocating for funding to establish a state-run or city-run fellowship to promote behavioral workforce development. Currently, New York is facing a shortage of mental health professionals. We support growth in the number of BIPOC mental health professionals and mental health professionals who speak more than one language. We also need to establish funding to continue cultural competency training among professionals.
Crisis Respite Centers
We need more city funding and an increase in the “health diversion centers” where individuals can get short-term treatment until they are stable. These respite centers can be a key step in helping shift people with a substance use disorder or a mental health episode away from the criminal legal system and towards recovery.
We would also like to see increased city funding available for community-based organizations to operate respite centers in order to promote more local care and resources that are culturally-competent and linguistically-appropriate. We believe that putting these centers in the hands of organizations who are well-experienced in operating them will also ensure the success of these centers emphasizing long-term treatment and recovery.
New York Health Act
This legislation will provide more affordable, easier to access mental healthcare for all New Yorkers through a single-payer health insurance system.
The New York Health Act (S.5474/A.6058) would create a single-payer healthcare system for New York, eliminating the power of insurance companies to dictate treatment, and providing healthcare access for the uninsured as well. NAMI-NYC supports the New York Health Act, as it will provide cheaper, easier to access, mental healthcare for all New Yorkers.