Fast Facts: Decrease in Psych beds spells disaster

Need for Services

  • More than 1.6 million New Yorkers are living with serious psychological and mental distress.
  • 4% of all NYS hospitalizations were for serious mental illness.
  • Patients stay in the hospital longer on average for mental health related issues than other hospital stays.
  • There are still few alternatives to Emergency Department and inpatient hospital stay for severe mental health crises.

Inpatient Psych Capacity

  • 40,000 decrease in available psychiatric bed days
  • Over 2,000 beds decertified since the year 2000
  • 724 beds decertified between 2012 and 2018

Shifting Burden to the Public Sector

  • 20% increase in mental health discharges at NYC Health+Hospitals
  • There was a subsequent 5% decrease in mental health discharges at city voluntary hospitals.

Impact of COVID-19

  • In previous crises like Hurricane Sandy, hospitals like Beth Israel saw a 70% increase in inpatient psychiatric patients.
  • Nearly half of Americans surveyed about mental health issues during the COVID-19 crisis reported mental health strain.
  • Continued reduction in capacity could lead to adverse outcomes as demand for services could potentially increase.

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