A Call For Help: When A Mental Health Crisis Turns Deadly

An NYPD vehicle. (Spectrum News NY1)

Last year, 911 was called in New York City almost 175,000 times for a person in crisis — someone who may need immediate mental health care. For years, a tiny fraction of those encounters with police turned deadly. Most recently, a 19-year-old in Queens man was fatally shot by police while he was having an apparent mental health crisis. The incident is once again raising questions about how the city responds to these emergencies.

In this exclusive investigation, NY1 looks at how the NYPD responds to these emergency calls and whether the city’s mental health crisis teams are effective. In some cases, people are falling through the cracks, sometimes with deadly consequences.