Mayor Adams opens an innovative new behavioral health facility for New Yorkers

July 13, 2022

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The Bronx Support and Liaison Center will provide an alternative to avoidable emergency room visits or criminal justice interventions for people with mental health or substance use needs.

City’s B-HEARD program for referring patients to a mental health center or service

New York – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health today announced the opening of the Bronx Support and Connection Center (SCC)—a short-term treatment and stabilization program that provides services for people with mental health needs or substance abuse. The facility offers New Yorkers an alternative to avoidable emergency room visits and criminal justice interventions. SCC will also serve patients referred by the City’s recently expanded Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance (B-HEARD) program.

“New Yorkers struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues deserve sympathy and support, not a revolving door of emergency room and criminal justice interventions,” he said. Mayor Adams. “We are addressing our city’s mental health crisis with innovation and urgency to reach people where they are and provide them with the resources they need. In partnership with the newly expanded B-HEARD initiative and the NYPD, New Yorkers in crisis will find support and a path to a more stable life at the Bronx Support and Connection Center, It is another example of our investments in primary mental health and wellness solutions that will allow all New Yorkers to thrive.”

“If you live with mental health or drug use needs or if you know someone who is, the city has another support center for you in the Bronx,” he said. Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Ann Williams Isom. The center announced today will offer a range of immediate and proven services that will help people on their road to recovery. Thank you to our partners in this multi-agency effort to reach people where they are and when they need support.”

“We know that New Yorkers experiencing mental health crises need more and better people on the slopes for care and they need transitional environments to stabilize and connect with people and resources.” DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Support and Liaison Centers create immediate stability and establish connections that help break the cycle of housing instability, participation in the justice system, and emergency room visits that so many people with persistent mental health or substance abuse challenges face. These centers are a vital part of the structure The rehabilitation social infrastructure in which we are investing to support people with significant mental health challenges to find connection, empathy and holistic care in their journey of recovery and crisis prevention.”

“The Bronx Support and Liaison Center will be a critical pathway to long-term stability and community support for fellow New Yorkers who need it most,” he said. Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Health Dr Michael McRae.

“For the first time in this city’s history, these centers working alongside B-HEARD teams are allowing New Yorkers experiencing a mental health crisis to be presented in their community with behavioral health care options that were not previously part of the traditional emergency response.” He said Jason Hansman and Tina Chiu, acting directors, Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health (OCMH). “We are proud to partner with DOHMH, the New York City Fire Department, NYC Health + Hospitals, and the New York City Police Department to support the City’s commitment to treating mental health emergencies as a public health issue.”

“The FDNY is proud to support the opening of the Bronx Support and Communication Center,” he said. Acting New York City Fire Department (FDNY) Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “Our B-HEARD response units focus on de-escalation and support, and Bronx SCC will allow Bronx residents most in need to get the long-term care they need.”

“This center will be a living resource to connect individuals in this community with comprehensive behavioral health services,” he said. New York City Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Interagency Operations Terry Tobin. “We look forward to this new opportunity to continue our collaboration with the healthcare community to ensure New Yorkers get the right kind of care.”

“The Harlem Support and Communication Center has been an essential partner for the B-HEARD initiative,” he said. Charles Barron, MD, deputy chief medical officer, Office of Behavioral Health, Hospital + New York Health. “It provides a safe place for community members to go, which helps avoid unnecessary transfers to the emergency room. We look forward to partnering with the Bronx Support and Liaison Center to provide needed care in the community.”
Referrals to the Bronx SCC can come from the NYPD’s 47th Precinct and B-HEARD teams operating in the South Bronx. B-HEARD teams EMTs/Paramedics from FDNY Emergency Medical Services and mental health professionals from NYC Health + Hospitals to respond to some emergency mental health calls as the City’s health-focused approach to 911 mental health calls. Former Mayor Adams announced the expansion of B-HEARD to include six new areas in northern Manhattan and the South Bronxmore than double the areas covered to 11.

Bronx SCC will deliver robust clinical services provided by Samaritan Daytop Village, a nonprofit health and human services corporation with programs throughout the five boroughs. SCC services will include screening and assessments, counseling services, short-term case management, links to ongoing health and social care, medically supervised withdrawal services, access to naloxone, psychological services, peer support, and primary care. In addition, referred individuals have access to other services, such as food, bathing, laundry, and limited accommodations for one night. The length of stay at the center can range from hours to days, depending on the needs of the community members.

The Bronx SCC will serve as a sister location to East Harlem SCC, which opened in February 2020 and reopened in October 2020 after a temporary hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From reopening in October 2020 to March 2022, community members have been to East Harlem SCC 318 times. Many of these referrals have come from B-HEARD teams. From July 2021 to March 2022, community members returned alone for services after their first stay 166 times.

The Support and Contact Center Program Model was developed by DOHMH in consultation with partner agencies and with feedback from community members and experts. The Bronx SCC can currently serve 17 community members at any one time and will ramp up to serve 25 community members simultaneously once fully operational. The program is voluntary.

The Bronx Support and Connection Center began serving New Yorkers on Monday, July 11. The two centers combined with East Harlen SCC will cost about $11 million annually.

Conversion centers of similar models have proven successful in Los Angeles; San Antonio; Phoenix. Kansas City; Missouri, and Dutchess County, New York.

“The Bronx Center for Support and Communication is an important collaborative effort to address one of New York City’s most pressing health issues,” said Mitchell Netbourn, president and CEO of Samaritan Daytop Village. “Instead of a jail cell or emergency room, community members with mental health and/or substance abuse issues will be able to receive a full range of services at this center right away. Our unique blend of clinical programs, peer support, and primary care will be a new experience for many Individuals who have been brought into the center. Our open door policy is designed to encourage them to return, stabilize and begin their journey towards health and wellness.”

“Strong clinical comprehensive services were needed in our region prior to COVID-19 and this has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” he said. Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “Equitable access to mental, emotional and physical care that is compatible with a patient’s truly unique needs must be a human right, and the grand opening of the Bronx Support and Liaison Center is the first step in ensuring that this right is guaranteed to all Bronxians. I want to thank Mayor Eric Adams and the Commissioner of Health Dr. Ashwin Vasan for their leadership and for prioritizing health services for our most vulnerable residents in our district and city.”

“Mental health is one of the most pressing issues facing our society,” he said. New York State Senator Jamal Bailey. “Opening this center in my area is another step in the right direction to connect individuals in crisis with the vital supports, services and resources they need to live independently and with dignity. Too often, individuals with mental health and substance needs do not receive the services and care they are entitled to. Centers provide availability. Transform as the Bronx Support and Connection Center an alternative to emergency room visits and unnecessary criminal justice interventions. I want to thank Mayor Adams, Commissioner Dr. Vasan, and the administration for this vital investment in our communities.”

“The Bronx Support and Communication Center (SCC) is an innovative approach to improving public safety by intervening and assisting with two primary issues, mental health and substance abuse needs,” he said. New York City Councilman Oswald Velez. “We are moved to recognize that public health issues cannot continue to be criminalized at the expense of increasing incarceration rates among poor and communities of color like those in my area. I am excited to see the work the SCC will do for the people of the Bronx and look forward to working with them to help those most vulnerable.” Our weakness. I thank the Mayor, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and everyone involved in the tireless fight to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.”


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