New York City finds one in five adults has mental health problems
admin • November 14, 2015 • 3036
A man crosses 6th Avenue as the sun sets in New York September 3, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Jackson
At least one in five adult New Yorkers suffer from depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts or other psychological disorders every year, according to a report released on Thursday ahead of Mayor Bill de Blaiso’s new mental-health initiative.
New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene expects to release the plan, known as NYC Thrive, by the end of next month. It is aimed at preventing and treating psychological disorders among the city’s 8.4 million residents.
The “white paper” released Thursday outlines the size and scope of the problem facing the New York City.
“We have a set of public health issues that affect many people and affect them very deeply,” said Dr. Gary Belkin, a deputy commissioner of the health department. “We know what we’re going to be doing, and over the coming weeks you’re going to be hearing about it.”
Officials have said little about what NYC Thrive would involve or how much it would cost.
In August, de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, told Crain’s New York that the mayor’s office would devote $386 million to mental health over the next three years.
McCray, who worked for five years as a spokeswoman for Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn before de Blasio was elected, has been the leading advocate in his administration for mental health awareness.
McCray has been open about how mental health issues have touched her own family. She has discussed her parents’ struggles with depression and the past substance abuse of her daughter, Chiara.
Some 8 percent of adults in New York City experience symptoms of depression each year, according to the report. The same percentage of the city’s high school students say they have attempted suicide.
Poor and minority residents are disproportionately affected by mental illnesses and are more likely than white residents to be misdiagnosed or untreated, according to the report.
The number of residents experiencing psychological disorders such as depression has held steady in recent years, it finds. But mental health problems arising from drug and alcohol abuse have risen.
Opioid-related overdoses increased in New York City in recent years, Belkin said, paralleling a national trend. Synthetic marijuana, often called spice or K2, is also leading to more deaths and psychotic episodes in the city, he said.
One of the goals of NYC Thrive is to establish a more comprehensive system to track mental health in children and adults, city officials said.
The mental health of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) personnel is top priority, according to NCRPO Chief PMGen. Debold Sinas.
According to Sinas, the NCRPO frontliners are facing anxiety and other psychological impact of the Covid-19 crisis and the consequent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Being in the frontlines, most of my men chose not to be in close contact with their families anymore to lessen the chances of possible contamination in their homes. The extension of this community quarantine is also agonizing for them,” he said.
Because of this, the NCRPO through its Regional Health Service, launched a Mental Health Awareness Program for its personnel.
The program aims to monitor the mental health of every personnel especially those who were deployed in the frontlines.
“Our personnel is our most important resource. This is why we want to ensure that they get to have the support that they deserve to fight the unseen enemy. It is our obligation to guarantee that they have enough rest, nourishment and psychological abetment to withstand the challenges ahead,” Sinas said. AAC
Broadway theaters, among New York’s biggest tourist attractions, were shut down for a month on Thursday (March 12) in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the city.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on all gatherings of more than 500 people, including theatres, starting on Thursday evening. Most Broadway theatres have around 1,000 seats.
The Broadway League said in a statement that shows would be suspended until April 13. They include crowd-pleasers like “Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
The decision was part of a range of extraordinary measures in the nation’s biggest city. Some 328 people in New York are confirmed to have the disease, Cuomo said.
The spreading virus has already led to cancellation or postponement of dozens of U.S. entertainment industry events, including the Coachella and South by Southwest festivals, CinemaCon, the E3 videogames convention and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Broadway was spooked on Wednesday (March 11) when an usher who had worked at two New York theatres tested positive for coronavirus. Owners of the two venues said they had ordered deep cleanings and their shows went ahead on Wednesday.
Television talk shows “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” said they would tape their broadcasts in New York venues without audiences going forward.
Several Broadway plays and musicals had previously put a halt to cast members greeting fans and signing programs at stage doors.
Some 14.8 million tickets were sold for Broadway shows in the 2018-2019 season that ended in May, bringing $1.8 billion in box office receipts, according to the Broadway League. Some 63% of those going to shows were tourists, from outside the United States or outside New York.
“Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatergoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement on Friday. (Reuters)
(Production by: Catherine Koppel and Hussein al Waaile)
The number of people ill with the new coronavirus has risen to six in New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday (March 4).
New York’s Yeshiva University said one of its students had tested positive for COVID-19, and it was canceling all classes on Wednesday at one of its four New York City campuses as a “precautionary step” while it worked with authorities on how to best prepare and keep its students safe.
On Tuesday (March 3), officials said a man in his 50s who lives in a New York City suburb and works at a Manhattan law firm tested positive for the virus, the second identified case in the state. Health authorities said one of his children was a student at Yeshiva University.
The man has severe pneumonia and is hospitalized, officials said. The patient had not traveled to countries hardest hit in the coronavirus outbreak, which began in China in December and is now present in nearly 80 countries and territories, killing more than 3,000 people.
Of the six cases of people with coronavirus in New York, only one is hospitalized, Cuomo said at a news conference.
The four new cases include three family members of the hospitalized man, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said in a statement. The fourth was a neighbor, according to media reports.
“There are going to be many, many people who test positive. By definition, the more you test, the more people you will find who test positive,” Cuomo said.
New York wants to get the state’s capacity for testing for the virus to up to 1,000 a day, he said.
“The people who we are most concerned about, who are most vulnerable are senior citizens, people with immune comprised situations. What we’re worried about: nursing home setting, senior care setting. That’s what we’ve seen in other places and that’s where the situation is most problematic.”
At least one school in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City closed on Tuesday. The SAR Academy and SAR High School remained closed on Wednesday, but online classes were taking place, according to a man with a child at the school.
A synagogue in New Rochelle, New York, where the family of the hospitalized man lives said on Tuesday it was halting “all services immediately and for the foreseeable future.”
The latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed 108 confirmed and presumed cases in the United States. That tally consists of 60 reported by public health authorities in 12 states plus 48 among people repatriated from abroad, most of them from an outbreak aboard the Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan.
Nine people have died in the Seattle area, health officials said. Washington state in the Pacific Northwest has the largest concentration of coronavirus cases detected to date in the United States with 27 people infected as of Tuesday. (REUTERS CONNECT)
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