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New York City finds one in five adults has mental health problems

by admin   |   Posted on Saturday, 14 November 2015 01:33 AM

A man crosses 6th Avenue as the sun sets in New York September 3, 2014. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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.

(Editing by Frank McGurty and Leslie Adler)

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Google to spend $1 billion on new campus in New York

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 10:01 AM

 

GOOGLE SIGN | REUTERS

Alphabet Inc’s Google is investing more than $1 billion (USD) on a new campus in New York, becoming the second major technology company after Amazon to pick America’s financial capital to expand and create thousands of jobs.

The 1.7 million square-foot campus, called Google Hudson Square, will include leased properties at Hudson Street and Washington Street, the company said in a blog post on Monday (December 17).

Google hopes to start moving into the buildings beginning in 2020 and plans to double its New York headcount to 14,000 in the next 10 years.

“What firms need to do is go where people want to work, where they can get the talent and New York is one of those cities that has sort of proved itself as being able to attract young, tech, millennial type talent,” said Peter Muoio, executive vice president and head of research at Ten-X Commercial, the nation’s largest online platform where commercial real estate is bought and sold.

Google plans to invest outside its home base mirror those of other U.S. tech giants such as Apple Inc., which said last week it would spend $1 billion to build a new campus in Austin, Texas.

Last month, Amazon.com Inc said it would open offices in New York and the Washington, D.C., area, creating more than 25,000 jobs.

“I think what really drives these decisions is the lack of enough workers to fill their needs just in Silicon Valley. And so I think what Amazon is doing and what Apple’s doing in Austin and what Google just announced in New York are just all manifestations of their need for a more diversified and broader workforce than what they can get in Silicon Valley,” Muoio said.

Google’s first New York office at 111 Eighth Avenue is one of the city’s largest buildings that it bought in 2010 for $1.77 billion.

Earlier this year, the company announced a $2.4 billion purchase of the Manhattan Chelsea Market. It also has leased space on Pier 57 jutting into the Hudson, which will create a four-block campus. — Reuters

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Google workers walk out to protest office harassment, inequality

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 2 November 2018 11:10 AM

 

Aerial of employees walking out of Google | REUTERS

Hundreds of Google employees and contractors in New York and Washington, D.C. staged brief midday walkouts on Thursday, (November 1) with more expected to follow at offices worldwide, amid complaints of sexism, racism and unchecked executive power in their workplace.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the organizers called on Google parent Alphabet Inc to add an employee representative to its board of directors and internally share pay-equity data. They also asked for changes to Google’s human resources practices intended to make bringing harassment claims a fairer process.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in a statement that “employees have raised constructive ideas” and that the company was “taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”

The workers who filed out of its New York headquarters shortly after 1100 local time were hoping for “real change” and to be treated equally. — Reuters

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Bomb threat greeted with skepticism by New Yorkers

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, 25 October 2018 09:57 AM

 

Bomb Squad at Time Warner Building | REUTERS

In speaking to Reuters, New Yorkers took in stride the events in their city Wednesday (October 24) after police intercepted suspected bombs mailed to former U.S. President Barack Obama, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and other high-profile Democrats, in what New York officials described as an act of terrorism.

With the country deeply polarized, the packages brought a new level of tension to Nov. 6 political contests that will decide whether Democrats can challenge the majorities now held by Trump’s Republicans in Congress.

The CNN bureau in New York also received a device looking like a pipe bomb, leading police to evacuate the building, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said his office also received a suspicious package. CNN reported that Eric Holder, who was U.S. attorney general under Obama, was also among those targeted.

“We’re used to it a bit. Since 9/11, it’s sort of a routine thing. This happens every few months now. I just want to get my lunch, go on with my day,” Dildeepal Galesa, an employee of Universal Music, told Reuters.

U.S. President Donald Trump condemned what he called “despicable acts” and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

“In these times, we have to unify, we have to come together, and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” Trump said at the White House.

“We’re extremely angry, upset and unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it,” Trump said.

A similar pipe bomb was delivered earlier this week to the home of George Soros, a major Democratic Party donor.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

All of the targets are frequently disparaged by right-wing critics and Trump, whose spokeswoman condemned the acts.

“Our condemnation of these despicable acts certainly includes threats made to CNN as well as current or former public servants. These cowardly acts are unacceptable and won’t be tolerated,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter.

Alexander Soros, the son of George Soros, said in an opinion piece published by The New York Times that his father had long faced verbal criticism and threats over his involvement in politics, “but something changed in 2016” when Trump was elected.

“Before that, the vitriol he faced was largely confined to the extremist fringes, among white supremacists and nationalists who sought to undermine the very foundations of democracy. But with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, things got worse,” Alexander Soros wrote.

He placed direct responsibility with those who sent the devices, but added: “I cannot see it divorced from the new normal of political demonization that plagues us today.” — Reuters

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