State Attorney General Letitia James and her office heard appeals Wednesday from a litany of health care advocates urging greater action to tackle severe mental illness across the state.
“There is no doubt that New York is in the midst of a mental health crisis that has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Attorney General James prior to the hearing. “For decades, New York has seen a decline of short-term inpatient psychiatric beds, which are critical to providing consistent and thorough mental health care in our communities.
During the hearing, James heard from healthcare providers and advocates how mental health services have been failing New Yorkers experiencing mental health crises. Many speakers agreed it was due to the lack of available beds in hospitals, the stigma surrounding mental health illnesses and the lack of insured patients.