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Velshi: We need to do something for mentally ill people, not to them


New York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled a plan that would involve involuntarily hospitalizing the mentally ill living on the city’s streets and subways. Mayor Adams is trying to do something to address the city’s mental health crisis. People in New York have become scared of real and perceived violence committed by the mentally ill. But the real solution lies in something being done for mentally ill patients. Not to them. Involuntarily hospitalizing mentally ill homeless people feels like a Band-Aid for something that needs surgery. Mayor Adams’ plan relies on police officers to determine if and when a person needs to be hospitalized. This arguably turns police into social workers without the necessary training and experience to deal with mental health emergencies. Mayor Adams, for his part, has defended himself against criticism of the initiative, arguing that he is determined to tackle a problem that others before him have "punted on." It’s hard to know what the right solution is, but rounding up mentally ill people from the streets and throwing them into a system that might just spit them back out again feels less like a solution and more like a vicious cycle.