The Mental Health Project works with people with mental health concerns in inpatient psychiatric units and in NYC jails to ensure that they receive appropriate discharge planning services. Our goal is to help end the cycle of homelessness, incarceration, and hospitalization by ensuring our clients are connected to supportive housing, public benefits, and continued treatment in the community.
For people hospitalized in inpatient units, we enforce our clients’ rights to have a safe discharge as required by the New York State Mental Hygiene Law (section 29.15). Our interdisciplinary team attempts to work cooperatively with hospital discharge planners to ensure that our mutual clients receive a discharge plan that is suitable to their needs.
For people incarcerated in NYC jails, we advocate for correctional health services to provide an appropriate discharge plan as required by the Brad H. settlement agreement. Discharge planning services are available to incarcerated individuals who received ongoing mental health treatment. The services include continued mental health and/or substance use treatment, assistance obtaining or maintaining Medicaid, medication and prescriptions, and DHS shelter referral. People diagnosed with a serious mental illness are entitled to additional services, including case management; assistance applying for cash assistance, SNAP, SSI benefits, and VA benefits; assistance obtaining supportive housing; expedited placement in a DHS program shelter; and transportation.
How Can We Help?
For people in hospitals:
We can answer your questions about discharge planning.
We can inform you about your right to a safe discharge and work with you to identify your discharge planning needs.
We can advocate on your behalf to ensure that hospital staff carry out a discharge plan that meets your needs.
We can provide practical assistance to discharge planners throughout every stage of the discharge planning process. This includes connecting discharge planners to resources that can provide the needed support to reduce the likelihood of re-hospitalization. We can provide follow-up advocacy for clients after discharge to ensure a smooth transition to the community.
For people in NYC jails:
We can meet with you in jail about your right to discharge planning services.
We can educate you about the discharge planning services available to you.
We can advocate on your behalf to ensure that correctional health staff provide you with the services you want.
We can advocate for you to receive mental health and other medical care while in jail.
We can follow up with you after you are released to the community to ensure that the services you need are in place.
For help with discharge planning from:
An Inpatient Psychiatric Unit
Telephone: 877-MHP-LAW1 (877-647-5291) and press 1
Rikers Island or any NYC Jail
Telephone: 877-MHP-LAW1 (877-647-5291) and press 2