NEW YORK (PIX11) — It’s National Nurses Week, and with all the national attention on mental health, there’s one Manhattan nurse making an impact on the lives of homeless people in New York City.
Rebecca Miller-Martinez says her office is out in the community. Some of her patients she’s known for years, and some she meets in the subway, on a park bench, or in a shelter — wherever they need help.
“I would say we are the marines of behavioral health,” Martinez said.
Martinez is a behavioral health nurse with the nonprofit VNS Health. She says she is more like a detective and part social worker; always on a mission to help.
“I met with someone in the shelter, now I’m going to meet someone in the Bronx,” she said.
PIX11 News met Martinez in between patients. She says they are people with severe mental illness. She visits her patients wherever their home happens to be.
Many of her patients are high-risk individuals with severe mental illness, and sometimes with a history of substance abuse. She administers medications and prevents crises before they happen.
“I carry medication with me; it makes a huge difference. It helps give them mental stability in the community,” she added.
There are dozens of nurses like her across New York, on the frontlines helping keep people healthy and safe in their community.
“Every day we do our part to help people who are unhoused, by being kind, having empathy, and being patient. “