This week, the City Council continued to hold preliminary budget hearings for a variety of city agencies. On Tuesday, Dr. Mary Basset, the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Services, provided insights on her agency’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis and provide mental health services across the five boroughs. In her testimony, the commissioner revealed that the city experienced a 23% increase in New Yorkers’ receiving outpatient treatment over the past four years. The commissioner additionally defended the ThriveNYC mental health initiative, which many mental health advocates criticize for its focus on anxiety and depression rather than more serious and persistent mental health issues like schizophrenia.
While testifying before the Committee on Mental Health and Addiction, Commissioner Basset conveyed her support for supervised injection facilities and claimed that DOHMH will present more information on the subject in their opioid study due in April. This report supports Mayor de Blasio’s goal of decreasing opioid overdose-related deaths by 35% this year.
Related Press: Bassett defends ThriveNYC’s focus at Council budget hearing