Target: Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York
Goal: Applaud decision to provide housing with medical and social services to thousands of mentally ill people
Recently, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo agreed in a consent decree to give 4,000 mentally ill people the ability to move into their own apartments and receive mental health services. Prior to this momentous reform, people with mental illnesses were restricted to living in institutional homes. Please applaud this triumphant improvement of New York’s long-term mental health treatment system and the Cuomo administration for bringing the state into full compliance with the federal disability law.
New York is now required to arrange what is called supported housing for all people with mental disabilities, except the very severely mentally ill. The state must now establish at least 2,000 of these supported housing units, and any more that may be needed later. This major overhaul of the state’s mental health services is the culmination of a decade-long legal battle to improve upon the options offered to those with mental illnesses. These reforms were very much needed especially since some private institutional housing has been criticized for negligence and the maltreatment of patients.
Now that the state of New York is in full compliance with the federal disability law, mentally disabled people will have the option of transitioning back into society and are no longer condemned to life in institutional homes. They now have a choice in the development of their own mental health treatment. Please voice your support of the improvements in New York’s mental health care system.
Dear Governor of New York Andrew M. Cuomo,
Your administration’s recent consent decree to ease the restrictions placed on people with mental illnesses is a much-needed improvement to New York’s mental health system. This is a step in the right direction after a decade-long legal battle. I commend your administration for finally bringing the state into complete compliance with federal law.
This reform will broaden the possibilities for people with mental disabilities, granting them agency whereas before they were bound to a life lived in “adult homes.” Some of these for-profit institutions have reportedly been guilty of maltreatment and negligence. By allowing people with mental illnesses the least restrictive care possible, your administration has empowered people undergoing mental health treatment.
In a statement concerning the changes, you showed your commitment to progress New York’s mental healthcare system, “Our state will continue to reform how we provide care and housing for all vulnerable New Yorkers to ensure they are getting treatment and support that best fits their needs.” I commend your administration’s efforts to fulfill this promise by giving mentally disabled people the choice to transition into independent living.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: publik15 via Flickr