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The Association between Mental Health-Related 911 Calls and the Mental Health Professional Shortage in New York City

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This study examines the relationship between designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas (MH HPSAs) and mental health-related 911 calls in New York City. Negative binomial regression models were used to estimate the relationship between MH HPSAs and MH 911 calls after adjusting for the population size and other neighborhood characteristics. The study found that neighborhoods designated as MH HPSAs had higher MH 911 calls compared to non-shortage areas, with a 27% increase in expected MH 911 calls after adjustment. Moreover, the results indicated that neighborhoods with higher rates of homelessness and poverty generated more MH 911 calls. The findings suggest a need to improve access to mental health services to reduce the burden on police and emergency services for crisis interventions in areas with limited resources.

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Kang, B., Lu, YF. The Association between Mental Health-Related 911 Calls and the Mental Health Professional Shortage in New York City. J Urban Health 100, 914–923 (2023).

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