Mayor Adams opens innovative new behavioral health center for New Yorkers with mental illness

July 13, 2022

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The Bronx Support and Connection Center will provide an alternative to avoidable ER visits or criminal justice interventions for people with mental health or addiction needs

The city’s B-HEARD program to refer patients to the center’s mental health services

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan today announced the opening of the Bronx Support and Connection Center (SCC) – a short-term treatment and stabilization program that provides services for people with mental health or addiction needs. The facility offers New Yorkers an alternative to avoidable emergency room visits and criminal justice responses. CSC will also serve patients referred by the city’s recently expanded Behavioral Health Crisis Response Division (B-HEARD) program.

“New Yorkers dealing with mental health and addictions issues deserve compassion and support, not a revolving door of emergency and criminal justice responses,” said Mayor Adams. “We are approaching the mental health crisis in our city with innovation and urgency to reach people where they are and provide them with the resources they need. In partnership with the recently expanded B-HEARD initiative and the NYPD, New Yorkers in crisis will find support and a path to a more stable life at the Bronx Support and Connection Center, another example of our mental health investments in upstream, the security of the solutions that will allow all New Yorkers to prosper.

“If you are living with mental health or addiction issues, use needs, or know someone who is, the city has another support center for you in the Bronx,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Social Services Anne Williams-Isom. “The center announced today will provide a range of immediate and stabilizing services that will help people on the road to recovery. Thank you to our partners in this multi-agency effort to reach people where they are and when they need support.

“We know that New Yorkers experiencing mental health crises need more and better on the care ramps and need transitional environments in which to stabilize and connect with people and resources,” said DOHMH Commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Support and Connection Centers create the immediate stability and connections that help break the cycle of housing instability, judicial system involvement and emergency room visits that too many people with health issues mental or addiction experience. These centers are an essential part of the rehabilitative social infrastructure we invest in to help people facing significant mental health issues find connection, compassion and holistic care on their journey to recovery and recovery. crisis prevention.

“The Bronx Support and Connection Center will serve as a critical pathway to long-term stability and community supports for other New Yorkers who need it most,” said Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene, Dr. Michael McRae.

“For the first time in this city’s history, these centers operating in conjunction with B-HEARD teams are enabling New Yorkers in mental health crisis to be served in their community with behavioral health care options that were not previously part of traditional emergency response,” said Jason Hansman and Tina Chiu, Acting Co-Directors, Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health (OCMH). “We are proud to partner with DOHMH, New York City Fire Department, NYC Health+ Hospitals, and the New York City Police Department to support the city’s commitment to dealing with emergencies. mental health as a public health issue.

“The FDNY is proud to support the opening of the Bronx Support and Connection Center,” said Laura Kavanagh, Acting Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). “Our B-HEARD response units are focused on de-escalation and support, and CSC Bronx will ensure the Bronx residents most in need receive the long-term care they need.”

“This center will be a neighborhood resource for connecting individuals in this community with comprehensive behavioral health services,” said Terri Tobin, Chief of Interagency Operations for the New York City Police Department (NYPD). “We look forward to this new opportunity to continue our collaboration with the healthcare community to ensure New Yorkers receive the right kind of care.”

“The Harlem Support and Connection Center has been a critical partner in the B-HEARD initiative,” said Charles Barron, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Office of Behavioral Health, NYC Health + Hospitals. “It provides a safe place for community members to go, which helps avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room. We look forward to partnering with the Bronx Support and Connection Center to provide needed care in the community.
References to the Bronx CSC may come from the NYPD’s 47th Precinct and B-HEARD teams that operate in the South Bronx. B-HEARD teams up with EMTs/Paramedics from FDNY Emergency Medical Services and mental health professionals from NYC Health + Hospitals to respond to select mental health emergency calls as part of the Centered Approach on city health for mental health 911 calls. Mayor Adams previously announced the expansion of B-HEARD to six new neighborhoods in Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx, doubling the number of neighborhoods covered to 11.

The Bronx SCC will offer robust clinical services provided by Samaritan Daytop Village, a nonprofit health and social service provider with programs in all five boroughs. CSC services will include screening and assessments, counseling services, short-term case management, linkages to continuing health and social care, medically supervised substance withdrawal services, access to naloxone , psychiatric services, peer support and primary care. Additionally, those referred can access other services, such as food, showers, laundry, and limited overnight stays. Stays at the center can range from a few hours to a few days, depending on the needs of the community member.

The Bronx SCC will serve as a sister site to East Harlem SCC, which opened in February 2020 and reopened in October 2020 after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From reopening in October 2020 to March 2022, community members were brought to CSC East Harlem 318 times. Many of these recommendations come from the B-HEARD teams. From July 2021 to March 2022, community members self-returned for services after their first stay 166 times.

The Support and Connection Center program model was developed by DOHMH in consultation with partner agencies and with input from community members and experts. The Bronx SCC can currently serve 17 community members at any one time and will expand to 25 community members at a time once fully operational. The program is voluntary.

The Bronx Support and Connection Center began serving New Yorkers on Monday, July 11. Together with East Harlen SCC, the two centers will cost approximately $11 million per year.

Diversion centers with similar models have proven effective in Los Angeles; San Antonio; Phoenix; Kansas City; Missouri and Dutchess County, New York.

“The Bronx Support and Connection Center is an important collaborative effort to address one of New York City’s most pressing health issues,” said Mitchell Netburn, President and CEO of Samaritan Daytop Village. “Instead of a jail cell or emergency room, community members with mental health and/or addiction issues will be able to immediately receive a full range of services at this center. Our unique combination of clinical, peer support and primary care programs will be a new experience for many people brought to the Center.Our open door policy is designed to encourage them to return, stabilize and begin their journey to health and recovery. welfare.

“There was a need for robust comprehensive clinical services in our borough prior to COVID-19 and this has only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “Equitable access to mental, emotional and physical care tailored to a patient’s unique needs should be a human right and the grand opening of the Bronx Support and Connection Center is the first step in ensuring that this right is guaranteed to all Bronxitis.. I want to thank Mayor Eric Adams and Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan for their leadership and prioritizing health services for our most vulnerable residents in our borough and city.

“Mental health is one of the most pressing issues facing our community,” said New York State Senator Jamaal Bailey. “The opening of this center in my district is another step in the right direction to connect people in crisis to the vital supports, services and resources they need to live independently and with dignity. Too often, people with mental health and addiction needs do not receive the services and care they deserve. Diversion centers like the Bronx Support and Connection Center offer an alternative to ER visits and unnecessary criminal justice interventions. I want to thank Mayor Adams, Commissioner Dr. Vasan and the administration for this vital investment in our communities.

“The Bronx Support and Connection Center (SCC) is an innovative approach to improving public safety by intervening and helping with two core issues, mental health and addiction needs,” said New York City Council Member Oswald Feliz. “We have begun to recognize that public health issues cannot continue to be criminalized at the cost of increasing incarceration rates among poor people and communities of color such as those found in my district. I am excited to see the work that CSC will do for the people of the Bronx and I look forward to working with them to help our most vulnerable I thank the Mayor, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and everyone who tirelessly fight to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.


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