Andrew Yang Comments on Mental Illness During Debate

Andrew Yang Comments on Mental Illness During Debate

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Andrew Yang Comments on Mental Illness During Debate

The Democratic candidates for mayor of New York were asked during Wednesday’s debate how they would address mental health and homelessness. Andrew Yang’s response differed from his rivals’.

“The fact is, mentally ill homeless men are changing the character of our neighborhoods. A woman my wife, Ellen, is friends with — and her mom grew up in Hell’s Kitchen — was punched in the face by a mentally ill man, sent a picture of her bruised face around the mom group, spread like wildfire. This is happening in New York City. And we’re not talking enough about it. Families are leaving as a result, in East Harlem, the neighborhood has been changed. Upper West Side, the neighborhood has been changed. We owe our people and our families better than this. And I’m frustrated by the political nature of these responses. I mean, we’re not talking about housing affordability. We’re talking about the hundreds of mentally ill people we all see around us every day on the streets and the subways. We need to get them off of our streets and our subways, into a better environment. And when you ask what I’m going to do differently, I’m going to rebuild the stock of psych beds in our city because the number has gone down 14 percent — it should be going up 100 percent until there are resources necessary for anyone who’s mentally ill to not be on our streets. It’s not right for them. It’s not right for a city. There will be no recovery until we resolve this. I will fix this.” Moderator: “Thank you.” “Yes, mentally ill people have rights. But you know who else have rights? We do. The people and families of the city. We have the right to walk the street and not fear for our safety because a mentally ill person is going to lash out at us.”

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