According to a recent report issued by the city’s health department, one out of five New Yorkers struggles with mental health problems, including substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
The report, which was unveiled on Thursday, is part of a larger initiative set in place by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to reduce incidence of mental health disorders among New York City’s 8.4 million residents.
The plan, which was dubbed NYC Thrive, is slated to be released by the end of December. The recently released report indicates how severe the issue really is in the city. Deputy Commissioner Dr. Gary Belkin explained that many New Yorkers are ‘very deeply’ affected by an array of public health problems The report outlines what the health department is going to do and what the public is going to hear about, Dr. Belkin added.
Nevertheless, authorities declined to provide more details on NYC Thrive or disclose its costs. This summer, Chirlane McCray, the wife of mayor de Blasio, told reporters that the municipality would allocate $386 million to mental health by the end of 2018. McCray has been an active advocate for mental health awareness in the city long before her husband was elected mayor.
McCray was inspired to lead this fight by the troubles her family had to go through. Both her parents struggled with depression, while her own daughter was caught in the tangle of substance abuse.
The recent report also showed that eight percent of NYC adults report signs of depression every year. Additionally, eight percent of the city’s students reported suicide attempts.
Investigators also found that the groups with the highest risk of developing a mental illness are the poor and minority members. What’s more, these people are also more likely to remain untreated or be misdiagnosed.
Researchers noted that the number of people affected by psychological issues including anxiety and depression remained steady in recent years, but drug and alcohol abuse incidence skyrocketed in the meantime.
New Yorkers have troubles especially with drug overdoses caused by opioids, just like the rest of the nation, and synthetic marijuana which often results in deaths or and psychotic episodes such as extreme violence.
The new mental-health plan aims at detecting earlier mental health problems in both children and adults, health authorities said, and students are Mayor de Blasio’s top priority.
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