Working Together To Keep NYC Safe
City Awards S:US More Than $3M For Coordinated Mental Health Services
When individuals experience a combination of homelessness, mental health issues and incarceration they need to be treated by a united team who have expertise in all three fields because if their treatment is segmented, these individuals often become inconsistently engaged. In order to remove the silos that sometimes separate mental health services, homeless services and the criminal justice system, the New York City Mayor’s Office and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have created a special evidence-driven public safety program named NYC Safe. This program exists to provide funding for nonprofits that work with individuals who have untreated serious mental illness whose care requires close coordination between City services.
S:US is most grateful to be one of just three nonprofits to be awarded NYC Safe funding to set up and operate an Intensive Mobile Treatment (IMT) team to provide immediate, intensive and ongoing care to 25 individuals who not only face housing instability but who also struggle to get treatment for their previously untreated serious mental illnesses. The goal is to continue providing treatment to these individuals even if they spend time in and out of jail. S:US will receive a total of $3 million over three years and we are pleased to announce that we launched operations of our very first IMT on January 25.
And because uncontrolled substance use among individuals with serious mental illness increases their risk of engaging in violent behavior, S:US is receiving a further NYC Safe grant of nearly $111,000 per year to enable us to increase the effectiveness of our three Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams in Harlem by hiring Substance Abuse Specialists to treat co-occurring substance use and mental illness.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was quick to recognize the benefits to New York City that a coordinated public safety and health program would bring when he stated, “Police officers understand that people experiencing behavioral health crises often benefit from a multi-agency response. We applaud the Mayor and First Lady Chirlane McCray for supporting this focused and well-coordinated initiative to address these issues involving the mentally ill as effectively as possible.”
For more details about NYC Safe, please see the Fact Sheet.