The $560 million in taxpayer money spent on First Lady Chirlane McCray’s ThriveNYC program hasn’t adequately addressed the need for mental-health services in the city — which actually “worsened” over the past year, The Post has learned.
The bombshell finding by the city Health Department was revealed in a draft report that was reviewed last week during a meeting of the department’s advisory Community Service Board.
“We are seeing consistently high demand for high needs services including rates of suicide,” the report says.
“We need to engage in a process with state partners to expand our portfolio of services and better address the needs of New Yorkers.”
Despite McCray’s claims of transparency regarding her embattled mental-health program, City Hall refused to release a copy of the Health Department report.
But a source provided The Post with details, including the report’s conclusion that during the past year, “Mental health service needs have worsened, as have substance use disorder needs, and developmentally disabled needs.”
The report blames the situation for a long-term increase in emergency room visits by mentally ill people who face “barriers to appropriate and relevant community care.”
ThriveNYC has spent $2 million on a program called NYC Safe, which is supposed to pair cops with health-care workers to help steer homeless and mentally ill people into treatment so they don’t wind up in the hospital.
One member of the Community Service Board, Primary Care Development Corp. director Louise Cohen, was alarmed by the report’s findings.
“The level of unmet service needs has worsened in all categories over the last year. I thought that was striking,” she said.
During last week’s board meeting, Deputy Health Commissioner Hillary Kunins downplayed the data.
“Happens every year,” she said.
Kunins also claimed that “increasing demand is, I think, a success of Thrive.”
That assertion was challenged by Dr. Sarah Church, director of Elevate Psychological Services, who called the increased need for services “sort of surprising.”
“How could it possibly get worse every single year?” Church said.
The Health Department prepared the draft report as part of a funding request to the state Office of Mental Health that’s due on June 1.
During a City Council budget hearing on Monday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson called ThriveNYC’s spending “opaque” and said Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration had refused to provide “more transparent reporting” on it and other costly “cross-agency initiatives,” including homeless shelters and ferry service.
The following day, when The Post asked McCray about that accusation, she said, “There’s nothing to hide.”
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