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Jumaane Williams knocks de Blasio for claiming credit on new national suicide helpline

There seems to be a disconnect.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams knocked Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday for attempting to assert credit for the federal authorities’s new ‘988’ three-digit fast dial to a national suicide prevention hotline.

Williams has lengthy pushed for City Hall to create an identical quantity for Gothamites to dial after they see a fellow New Yorker in misery for an emergency response from paramedics and psychological well being consultants, as an alternative of routing the calls by police dispatch at 911 as is the present observe.

But de Blasio — whose time period ends Dec. 31 — stays against Williams’s thought.

This new national ‘988’ quantity will join callers to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, however it won’t mechanically join native callers with metropolis officers to dispatch assist to New Yorkers endangering themselves or others.

Mayor Bill De Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to assert credit for the ‘988’ three-digit fast dial.
Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire

“If the Mayor wants to celebrate federal action on this issue, he should embrace fundamental reforms on a city level, where he has prevented the very progress we have been pushing,” mentioned the Public Advocate in a blistering assertion.

“I have appreciated this administration’s focus on mental health and wellness, as this issue is personal to me and so many New Yorkers, but the execution of that focus has often been ineffective or inadequate,” he added.

But that didn’t cease Hizzoner from touting the concept and making an attempt to hyperlink it to an identical toll-free quantity established by the town’s first girl, Chirlane McCray, with the embattled ThriveNYC program, which was quietly moved into City Hall this 12 months and renamed the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health.

Chirlane McCray
Chirlane McCray established a toll-free quantity with the embattled ThriveNYC program.
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

De Blasio had McCray seem nearly at his every day press briefing Monday to tout the Federal Communications Commission’s choice to maneuver forward with the ‘988’ direct dial, selling it as if it have been a metropolis initiative.

“This city has set a standard, that’s now being emulated for a focus on mental health, a focus on addressing the issues, de-stigmatizing issues, making sure we can reach people who need help,” he mentioned.

Both ignored the controversies which have dogged the $1.2 billion ThriveNYC effort, together with its early choice to focus on New Yorkers with much less extreme types of psychological sickness as an alternative of these so sick they find yourself on the streets and unable to operate.

A screen displays a notice  on an iPhone on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in New York
This new national ‘988’ quantity will join callers to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File

ThriveNYC was additionally fiercely criticized for failing to gather fundamental stats about one among its hallmark providers — connecting New Yorkers with therapists and counselors by way of the toll-free hotline — to find out if it really proved helpful.

City Hall additionally launched an enormous public service marketing campaign to tout the ThriveNYC initiative that prominently featured McCray as she contemplated her personal run for elected workplace, main critics to cost de Blasio was utilizing public assets to bolster his spouse’s profile.

If you’re fighting suicidal ideas or are experiencing a psychological well being disaster and live in New York City, you may name 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential disaster counseling. If you live exterior the 5 boroughs, you may dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org

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