By Post Editorial Board
Days after another NYPD officer was targeted and almost killed by a mentally ill man, GOP mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis is out with a thoughtful plan for how New York can better deal with people suffering from serious mental illness.
Those unfortunates, Malliotakis noted Monday, “have become lost in a system that is mostly geared for the high-functioning mentally ill.” She wants to shift the emphasis, targeting resources to the most desperate.
That means replacing some of Mayor de Blasio’s programs (such as the ad campaign focused on removing the “stigma” of mental illness, and others that target lesser issues, such as depression) with ones that focus on, for example, paranoid schizophrenics.
The kind of people, in short, whose dysfunction is so serious they can’t understand what’s wrong with them. This, she argues, can save taxpayer dollars by diverting people from the criminal-justice system into treatment.
She’d get more people into the programs they need by stationing “assisted outpatient treatment evaluators” in hospitals and jails, so they can file Kendra’s Law petitions to compel care.
Another top Malliotakis priority: working with Gov. Cuomo on a new agreement to provide supportive housing for homeless people suffering from severe mental illness. The last such agreement, signed in 2005, targeted those released from psychiatric facilities — and cut homelessness in that population by 47 percent.
(Imagine that: If she becomes mayor, she’d look to work with the governor, rather than lecturing him.)
In short, Malliotakis gets it: Help these people before they become a danger to themselves, the public and law enforcement.
If the Republican’s campaign continues to show more fresh thinking and out-of-the-box problem-solving, the city might have a real race on its hands.
Original Article: http://nypost.com/2017/08/14/malliotakis-points-to-sane-city-policy-on-mental-health/