NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– The first openly gay official ever elected in the Bronx is blasting the de Blasio administration for not doing enough to fight mental illness in the LGBT community.

City Hall Spokeswoman Erin White told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman the administration’s billion-dollar mental health plan includes services for every population, including seniors and LGBT youth.

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“ThriveNYC includes services for every population, including seniors and LGBT youth. ThriveNYC recognizes that marginalized populations, including LGBT youth and seniors, have a high higher risk for mental health challenges. That’s why it invests heavily in promoting culturally competent care and expanding specific services, like placing mental health care resources in schools, runaway and homeless youth shelters and our largest senior centers. We look forward to reviewing the councilmember’s proposal to see how it can supplement our efforts,” White said.

City Councilman Ritchie Torres said the suggestion that enough is being done is an insult.

“The statistics speak for themselves. If we are doing enough, why is that LGBTQ youth and seniors have the highest rate of isolation, depression and suicide?” he said.

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His bill required the Health Department to come up with a plan to specifically target mental health challenges in the LGBT community by the end of the year,

“The administration has chosen to express contempt for the very concept of an LGBTQ-specific mental health plan and that’s unfortunate,” he said.

The mayor’s office told WCBS 880 it will review Torres’ proposal to “see how it can supplement our efforts.”


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