Advocates want more mental health services after shooting
The shooting death of a mentally ill woman at the hands of police is raising the question of whether there are enough services for the mentally ill and where people can get help.
Protests and vigils continued Friday following the NYPD shooting death of Deborah Danner. Police Commissioner James O'Neil and Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident a tragedy that ended the life of a woman known to police as a schizophrenic. The officer who pulled the trigger has been placed on modified duty.
A recent city report finds at least one in five adults is likely to experience a mental health disorder in any given year. Advocates say the NYPD is often first to receive a call about an emotionally disturbed person.
Brett Scudder runs the Scudder Intervention Services Foundation, which provides counseling and mental health services. He says the mental health association is a citywide gateway to many mental health services, and that the biggest obstacle still plaguing the mentally ill is the public stigma associated with illness.
Scudder says he believes more community-based specialized programs are needed. Those programs, he says, could help defuse a highly charged situation between a mentally ill person and a responding officer.