How NYC is tackling the mental health crisis

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The city's mental health crisis is making headlines again.

Police say 23-year-old James Dillon went on a deadly one man crime spree in Astoria, Queens, killing a beloved businessman, slashing one of his neighbors and setting a homeless man on fire.

This most recent attack highlights the need for improved mental health services.

An estimated one in five people deal with a mental health issue every day.

Chirlane McCray and the deputy commissioner for the department of health and mental hygiene, Dr. Gary Belkin spoke on PIX11 Morning News on how the city is working to turn those numbers around.

More information: 

• Mental Health Corps (first time a city has ever done this) – hiring 400 mental health professionals so that we can send them where need them
• Mental Health First Aid – training 250,000 New Yorkers in Mental Health First Aid (sign up at This teaches people to recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness and how to respond. Research shows can help change the culture.
• Social emotional learning in EarlyLearn and pre-k sites – teaching 90,000 children coping skills, skills to deal with their emotions and make good decisions, etc. Research shows this actually prevents mental illness down the line and helps with future success b/c people who have these skills can better weather challenges