December 13, 2018
Ad campaign on television, print aims to encourage New Yorkers to call NYC Well help line for mental health support
NEW YORK—First Lady Chirlane McCray announced today the launch of a new campaign aimed at encouraging New Yorkers to contact NYC Well for mental health support. The “Thrive Together” campaign was launched on the heels of ThriveNYC’s third anniversary aims to promote the free service, which is staffed by counselors and peer support specialists that provide crisis counseling and information, and referrals to ongoing services, regardless of a New Yorker’s immigration status or insurance coverage.
“Reaching out is the first step to wellness, and I am pleased that nearly 500,000 New Yorkers have sought help through NYC Well, for themselves, their loved ones and members of their communities,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “The individual and family portraits featured in the Thrive Together campaign, along with helpful responses to common difficulties, is a reminder that our help line is available for all New Yorkers.”
As of October 31, NYC Well handled more than 496,000 calls, texts, chats and online mobile crisis referrals since its launch in late October 2016. The “Thrive Together” campaign will run through February on the subway, in newspapers, on the Staten Island Ferry, on bus shelters, on TV and on social media. The campaign will also be placed in neighborhood bodegas, nail and hair salons, barber shops, laundromats and check-cashing facilities. The print campaign is in English, Spanish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, and the TV campaign is in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin. NYC Well is free, confidential, and available 24/7 in over 200 languages. The program is operated by Vibrant Emotional Health through a contract with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
“NYC Well emphasizes the aspects of connectivity and engagement that are so essential to addressing mental health and substance misuse,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson. “Reaching out to a trained counselor or peer support specialist can be the first step to recovery, and can provide much needed support in the journey to wellness. In New York, we recognize the great need for these services and want those struggling to know help is available, 24/7.”
“Mental health and substance use issues can be overwhelming – NYC Well can help,” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Our counselors are trained to offer support, whether you’re looking for information, concerned about a loved one, or experiencing a crisis.”
“In New York, no one needs to face mental illness or addiction alone,” said ThriveNYC Executive Director Alexis Confer. “We want every New Yorker to know that resources like NYC Well and Mental Health First Aid are available for free. By standing together to face these common challenges we can all Thrive Together.”
Of the contacts handled by NYC Well from October 2016 to October 2018, 13 percent were identified as crisis situations; 45 percent were seeking immediate support; and 42 percent needed information or a referral for behavioral health services. Since the beginning of the program, nearly 20,000 requests have been made for a follow-up call or text from NYC Well, and over 6,500 requests have been made for immediate transfer to schedule an appointment with a provider of their choice for ongoing behavioral health services.
Approximately 58 percent of contacts to NYC Well reported seeking help for themselves; 6 percent reported seeking help for a friend or family member; and 8 percent reported being providers on behalf of clients. The remaining 28 percent of contacts did not reveal their connection to the person about whom they called.
In November 2015, the City launched ThriveNYC, a set of dozens of initiatives to change the conversation and stigma surrounding mental illness and provide greater access to mental health care. Individuals seeking support for mental health conditions or substance use for themselves or their loved ones can contact NYC Well by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL, texting “WELL” to 65173 or going to nyc.gov/nycwell. In addition, anyone can take a free Mental Health First Aid course to learn how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges.
“The ‘Thrive Together’ campaign will further our goal of ensuring no New Yorker has to struggle alone through mental illness or substance use issues,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “Under NYC Well, New Yorkers have immediate access to essential, reliable, and free mental health support and services. I commend the efforts of the First Lady of New York City and the New York City Health Department for providing these much needed resources in our City.”
“As a proponent of greater mental health services and access to resources, it is rewarding to see the City is leveling the playing field by forming coalitions to launch this Thrive Together campaign with the Department of Health. In its third anniversary, ThriveNYC has served so many New Yorkers via calls, texts, chats, and online mobile crisis referrals. This campaign will launch a unified effort to promote these free available resources to all New Yorkers through TV, newspaper ads, and social media. I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the ThriveNYC team to bring adequate resources to disproportionally affected communities,” said Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa.
“During this time of year, the heightened stress that may accompany the holidays may push some people to require mental health services. I strongly encourage people in need of mental health assistance to utilize NYC Well if they need help,” said Assembly Member Michael Dendekker.”
In November 2015, the City launched ThriveNYC, a program with dozens of initiatives aimed at changing the conversation and stigma surrounding mental illness and providing greater access to mental health care. In addition, anyone can take a free Mental Health First Aid course to learn how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health challenges, including depression.
New Yorkers seeking mental health help, or who want to learn more about treatment options, can contact NYC Well by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL, texting “WELL” to 65173 or going to nyc.gov/nycwell. Free, confidential support is available at any hour of the day in over 200 languages.