Thursday, the New York City Health department released findings that one in five New Yorkers reported suffering from mental health issues.
Health officials responded by saying they would be rolling out new programs over the coming weeks to combat this cost in human wellness. Dr. Gary Belkin, a deputy commissioner of the health department, was quoted as saying “We have a set of public health issues that affect many people and affect them very deeply. We know what we’re going to be doing, and over the coming weeks you’re going to be hearing about it.”
The New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene says it will be releasing the plan by the end of next month. It is known that incidences of mental health issues have held more or less steady over the past five years, the report did note that problems from drug and alcohol abuse have risen. Still, the nature of the plan remains unknown.
We have a set of public health issues that affect many people and affect them very deeply. We know what we’re going to be doing, and over the coming weeks you’re going to be hearing about it.
The study revealed other results, as well, which the New York Post described as “grim.” The largest mental health issue is depression, with approximately 8 percent of New Yorkers describing themselves as depressed. In high schools, 8 percent of students had attempted suicide — this could be the result of detrimental habits. Poor and minority residents represent a disproportionate amount of this group, with poor and minority groups experiencing higher levels of mental health illnesses than whites.
This report heralds Mayor Bill de Blaiso’s new mental health initiative. His wife, Chirlane McCray, worked at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn for five years before her husband’s election, and since then she has been the main advocate of mental health in his administration. In August, she reportedly told Crains New York that the Mayor’s Office would devote $386 million dollars to mental health over the course of the next three years.