Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New York to Move Many With Mental Illness to Community Housing

Yesterday, the state of New York agreed to settle a decade-long lawsuit allowing 4,000 people with mental illness the opportunity to move out of adult group homes and into their own apartments “in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.” The consent decree requires that New York set up at least 2,000 supported-housing units and hire staff to advise the residents. The state will also provide coordination of psychiatric and general medical care, employment services, assertive community treatment, and crisis services, among other services.

Seriously ill patients, those considered dangerous, or those requiring nursing care are not covered by the settlement.

“We are happy to see that the state will devote more resources to the housing needs of severely mentally ill people and allow them the opportunity to leave adult homes in cases where it is desired and clinically appropriate,” Glenn Martin, M.D., president of the New York State Psychiatric Association and recorder of the APA Assembly, told Psychiatric News. “We strongly support the goal of reintegration into the community to maximize each person’s potential and believe it is fundamental to good care and outcome.”

The lawsuit was filed after the New York Times reported that operators of the for-profit group homes provided poor care or needless medical treatment to the residents. An independent reviewer will monitor the implementation of the agreement.

For more in Psychiatric News about community care of individuals with mental illness, click here. Also see Psychiatric Services here.

(Image: Andrey Bayda/


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