Aid for Mentally Ill
Letter to the Editory (New York Times) written by Kenneth J. Dudek; President, Fountain House
To the Editor:
Re “An Initiative Aims to Help Violent Mentally Ill People” (news article, Aug. 7):
The introduction of NYC Safe should be the city’s first step in a coordinated and humane effort to protect all New Yorkers, including those living with serious mental illness. To truly accomplish this, increased investment must be made in community-based mental health programs that provide comprehensive supports including, but not limited to, housing.
Statistics show that when people with mental illness join programs with job placement, education, housing and access to primary and psychiatric care, they are less likely to be rehospitalized or incarcerated. In fact, at Fountain House, they are twice as likely to obtain employment and complete their education as people with mental illness who are not part of such programs.
Once NYC Safe assuages fears heightened by recent incidents of violence, the de Blasio administration must focus on directing more funds toward long-term solutions that help people with mental illness thrive as law-abiding, contributing citizens.
KENNETH J. DUDEK
President, Fountain House