Who We Are
We are a coalition of activists, advocates, and other community and non-profit members working to transform how New York City responds to the 200,000+ mental health crises calls now responded to by NYPD. CCIT-NYC seeks a health team response to these crisis calls.
Correct Crisis Intervention Today in New York City (CCIT-NYC) is a broad-based coalition of civil rights and human service organizations, people with lived experience with mental health crises, family members, and other advocates, all of whom work together with a mission to reform the City’s response to mental health crises, in order to reduce the incidents of violence and trauma experienced by those who turn to emergency services for assistance.
What We Know
CCIT-NYC knows that mental health crises are not criminal justice matters, and they require a public health response that is led by healthcare professionals with the capacity to deliver person-centered interventions, along with peers with lived experience.
Our guiding principles include the following well-researched recommendations and objectives:
Mental health crises are a public health issue, not a law enforcement or criminal justice problem.
Traumatic encounters between the police and people in crisis are the consequence of a failing social support and public health system. The City must provide assistance to people before a 911 or other crisis call is made, shift the response to the over 200,000 911 calls per year away from the police toward a peer-driven crisis response system, and provide adequate support after an encounter with emergency services, no matter the location.
The City’s mental health crisis response must be guided by peer input.
Peers – those with lived mental health crisis experience – must be prominently involved in all aspects of reforming the City’s response to mental health crises. User feedback is essential, and the creation of an independent planning body to oversee a comprehensive, long-term reform effort is critical to ensure evaluation, appropriate outcome measurement, and regular feedback.
The City’s mental health crisis response must be peer-led.
The City must embrace tried and tested approaches, such as the CAHOOTS model, with publicly-funded mental health response teams comprised of an experienced and certified peer specialist and an emergency medical technician (EMT).
CCIT-NYC works with government partners, as needed.
Many of our constituents have experienced traumatic and sometimes violent interactions with police. Yet CCIT-NYC recognizes that our mission of reforming the City’s response to mental health crisis to a health response may be facilitated by collaborating with the police, and CCIT-NYC will work with the police, as needed.
CCITNYC, formerly Communities for Crisis Intervention Teams in New York City, was formed in 2012 in response to the rising number of deaths and serious injuries associated with the New York Police Department (NYPD) responding to mental health crisis calls made to the City’s 911 system.
To date, we have successfully advocated for, and ensured implementation of, a comprehensive crisis intervention training program within the NYPD, based on the “Memphis Model” and CIT International principles, that has trained close to 15,000 officers.
At our urging, in 2018, Mayor de Blasio created a citywide multi-stakeholder taskforce on crisis prevention and response that has informed NYC WELL and other multi-disciplinary initiatives aimed at reducing mental health crises, avoiding harm, and ensuring compassionate well-balanced approaches that avoid unnecessary use of emergency departments and hospitals.
CCIT-NYC has worked closely with, and garnered significant support from, elected officials in the New York State Senate and Assembly, the New York City Council, and the Public Advocate’s office.