AG James releases written testimony hearing on New York’s mental health crisis

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York Attorney General James on Monday released written testimony submitted to the Office of the Attorney General in the public hearing on the quality and accessibility of mental health care statewide.

Government officials, health care providers, community organizations, and impacted New Yorkers submitted testimony regarding several issues, including but not limited to a lack of psychiatric care beds for adults and children, stigmatized perceptions of mental illness, and connections to the criminal legal system.

“I am grateful to the New Yorkers who provided testimony in this important hearing on the mental health crisis facing our state,” said Attorney General James. “The conditions and experiences detailed through data and personal anecdotes were illuminating, though unfortunately not surprising. This crisis affects all of us, though all too often, our most vulnerable neighbors are disproportionately impacted: young people, communities of color, justice-involved individuals, and unhoused New Yorkers. My office will use what we learned to ensure that our state provides adequate, appropriate, and culturally competent care to all those who need it.”

In New York this year, it’s estimated there are fewer than 5,000 adult short-term inpatient psychiatric beds in hospitals—that’s 96.5 percent fewer beds than in the 1960s.

Those who want to contact the Attorney General’s office about their experience can do that here.