New York has been reduced to a “city of the mentally ill” and the crisis is too deep to see the light of day.


This coming week will be a significant one for New York City. This week, the subways will resume overnight operations (effective early Monday morning, May 17); bars and restaurants will lift their midnight curfew on outdoor dining (effective May 17); and restaurants, museums, theaters, retail stores and other businesses will reopen at 100 percent capacity (as long as guests maintain a social distance of six feet, effective Wednesday, May 19).

This is the end of a long battle New York City has been waging with the New Coronavirus.

And as a byproduct of this terrible 14-month battle, New York City is still suffering from the ongoing mental health effects of the New Coronavirus.

[Latest Psychopathic Attack

New York Subway Biting Incident

This is just the latest in a suspected attack by a mentally ill person.

According to the New York Post, a good Samaritan who saw the attack on the D line subway yesterday (Saturday, May 15) was bitten as well as choked by the attacker.

The NYPD said the incident occurred around 5 p.m. that day when the suspect harassed a passenger on the subway and the 20-year-old passenger next to him stood up and attempted to intervene.

The attacker then turned on the good Samaritan, biting and choking him with his mouth and hands, respectively.

The NYPD has arrested the attacker, identified by sources as Billy Torres, 44, and the victim is being treated at a hospital. No charges have been announced yet.

Common trait among attackers: history of mental illness

As we have seen in previous NYCHIE reports, a number of mentally ill people have become murderous suspects in unprovoked assaults. These spikes in violence in the city may serve as a footnote to New York’s struggle with a mental health crisis.

Since the beginning of this year, police have investigated 35 hate crimes against Asians. Asked if the new pandemic had contributed to the recent crimes against Asian victims, NYPD Commissioner Shea said Friday that in addition to the anti-Asian rhetoric associated with the epidemic, another important reason was the “mental illness” of the attackers.

Tommy Ng, the new head of the NYPD’s Asian Hate Crimes Task Force, also said that in the recent high-profile attacks on Asians, the suspects arrested had one thing in common: a history of mental illness.

From those who struggle with loneliness, burnout, depression and anxiety, to those whose long-term problems worsened by the epidemic and required emergency psychiatric hospitalization, and those who are mentally ill despite not having a mental illness, New Yorkers suffer from a mental health crisis that has spread throughout the city.

“The City of the Mentally Ill”

The following figures show that New York City is in a serious mental health crisis and has become a “city of the mentally ill.

These are the numbers reported by New York City health officials in late April.

Almost one in 25 New Yorkers has a serious mental illness; approximately 280,000 adult New Yorkers have been diagnosed with major depression or schizophrenia; from March-December 2020, New York City’s 311 phone system recorded more than 17,330 calls related to mental health issues, nearly 85 times more than the 206 calls recorded during the same period in 2019; from January-March of this year, more than 5,866 calls related to mental health issues were recorded, already 28 times the number in three months than in 2019.

These are the numbers reported by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS).

About 40 percent of single adults in New York City shelters say they have a mental illness.

These are the numbers reported by the New York City Department of Correction (Correction Department).

53 percent (2,965) of New York City’s 5,640 prison inmates have received repeated mental health treatment, have a known mental health diagnosis, or have attempted suicide while serving a prison sentence.

Mentally ill wandering the streets


A man lies in the streets of Manhattan, blocking traffic on April 5, 2021.

To address the mental health health crisis spreading across the city, New York City has enhanced its telemedicine services and expanded its mobile crisis team that responds to behavioral health calls. Statistics from the New York City Department of Health show that New York City’s 24/7 mental health hotline has answered more than 300,000 calls and messages since the outbreak.

The 2022 implementation budget also includes $112 million to expand the crisis team’s 911 call response; allocates about $50 million for new services for people with serious mental illness; and allocates $225 million for community mental health services in places like shelters and police stations.

However, Irving Campbell, a psychiatric nurse, says New Yorkers need more resources. And it is the city’s most vulnerable groups that need to start first.

It’s painful to see people who have been swallowed up by society …… see them go without services,” said Campbell, a nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital (NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist). ” The hospital, which closed its psychiatric unit during the outbreak to dedicate beds to newly crowned patients, remains closed for building construction.

Campbell has seen his former patients roaming the streets right now. He added, “Telehealth and telepsychiatric intake is not a substitute for inpatient care. People who are suicidal, who are violent, who are extremely mentally disturbed, they come to us in the worst state possible after going through the emergency room, after going through the NYPD lockup.”

According to the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMMH), 30 hospitals across the state have dedicated about 600 psychiatric beds to newly crowned patients, and there are already about 30 fewer licensed psychiatric beds statewide than in 2019, for a total of 5,815 beds – – including 600 diverted beds.

Campbell said, “For myself, my colleagues and other mental health advocates, we understand the compulsion to close psychiatric units when we see new crown positivity rates exceeding 10 percent and thousands of people needing hospital beds every day. But some of those beds should now be shifted back to provide vital (psychiatric) services again. The number of licensed beds has been decreasing over time …… And the other concern is that many will never return.”

“We see that all vaccinated people in New York City can take off their masks …… But, many mentally ill people are still on the streets, in the subways, without medical treatment ……”

1.25 Billion Mental Health Plan Missing

Psychiatric nurse Owen Campbell (left) and New York City First Lady Chilan McCray (right). ThriveNYC has come under widespread criticism in recent years, accused of being nothing more than a waste of money by Mayor Bill de Blasio to satisfy his wife’s political ambitions, when in fact the program fails to meet even the basic needs of those who need help.

Campbell has repeatedly tried to warn New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, who leads the $1.25 billion mental health program ThriveNYC, to keep the psychiatric wards open to the community or face devastating repercussions. He wrote emails, contacted ThriveNYC on social media, and wrote to the mayor, but received no response.

Councilman Brad Lander, a representative of the Park Slope community where Brooklyn United Methodists are located, said, “It seems to me that mental health care for New Yorkers is being severely curtailed, but we need it more than ever.”

Lander said everyone can now see mentally ill people out on the city’s streets and subways.

Matthew Shapiro of the New York chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness said in an interview with the New York Post late last year that his online suicide hotline was swamped with calls during the epidemic, yet ThriveNYC was in action and was nowhere to be seen.

For his part, an NYPD source said, “Now they [meaning the mentally ill] have no place to go, they can’t go to jail, and hospitals don’t want them.”

The number of homeless people in the subway has spiked since nighttime shutdowns during the epidemic – prompting the MTA board last year to formalize emergency rules aimed at reducing homeless passengers.

While there is no evidence that people with mental illness are committing more crimes, a marked increase in unprovoked attacks on subways and city streets has prompted officials to explore ways to address New York City’s deep mental health woes, NYPD officials said.

In an interview with 1010 Wins Radio, MTA President and CEO Patrick Foye said, “We are in lockstep with union leaders to demand more police presence and additional mental health services.” Just the Friday morning before that, a horrific 12-minute continuous unexplained slashing occurred in the New York City subway.


Police said a suspect in that case was living in a Brooklyn transitional housing facility for adults with mental illness.

Foyle said, “What people with emotional disorders need is help, not living on city streets or in the subway, and it’s critical that we want to increase the number of commuters, buses and commuter rail so that our customers and employees are not only safe, but feel safe.”

Not quite the worst of it

Manish Sapra, executive director of behavioral health services at Northwell health, says his hospital system has also seen a spike in emergency room visits for treatment of mental health issues.

“It’s hard to quantify the last few months, but there’s been a big rebound (in visits) since November,” Sapra said of seeing fewer patients with mental illness in the emergency room at the peak of the epidemic.

We’re now seeing them not getting regular medical care, stopping taking their medications and not seeing their health care providers,” he said. I don’t think we’ve seen the worst of the situation yet, there’s no light yet.”