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Teens Take On COVID

Being stuck at home can be rough. You probably miss going to school, hanging out with your friends and some of you may be tired of watching after your little siblings. People in your home may be raising their voices, at you and each other. You may have questions about COVID-19 or other health issues. Or you just might need someone to talk to!

You are not alone.

So many adolescents and teens across New York City are feeling that exact same way. The good news is, there are still lots of services and help for youth available!

With just the click of a mouse, or tap of a phone, you can access the services that you need to feel better:

Fun & Safe Activities to Do At Home
Education Support
Your Health During COVID-19
Mental Health Services
LGBTQIA Health and Mental Health Resources
Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment
Family or Relationship Violence
Suicide Prevention
Child Trafficking
Bullying
Family Planning Options
Teen Parent Support
Housing Support
ACS Resources for Youth

Fun & Safe Activities to Do At Home

Want free access to NBA league pass? How about free practice for the SAT or HSE? Or is a Mario Kart tournament more your speed? Trying to stay fit and want a free subscription to a workout app?

  • Teens and young adults can visit Fun at Home or text “Fun” to 97743 to receive the latest updates on resources and activities.
  • The Department of Youth & Community Development is bringing dance, music, art, filmmaking, and more right to you! Check out the opportunities here, and sign up for the activities that interest you. Text (347) 349-4361 to get updates directly to your phone. You can also follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter at @NYCyouth to get the most up-to-date announcements via social media.

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Education Support

  • New York Public Library is offering free online homework help from one-on-one tutors, daily from 2-11 PM. Available in English and Spanish, from early elementary through high school grades, in core subject areas. Video content and other resources are also available 24 hours a day. Log in with your library card number for access here.
  • discoverDYCD allows you to search for afterschool programs, educational services, jobs and internships, community service, housing support, immigrant services, and regional enrichment centers near you.

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Your Health During COVID-19

During the COVID-19 public health crisis, it's especially important you get the medical assistance you need.

  • Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center: Delivers comprehensive, integrated medical and mental health services and prevention education to young people aged 10 to 22. It offers primary health care, counseling, support, mental health and family therapy, sexual and reproductive health, dental care, nutrition, and fitness and wellness programs. The center is open Monday through Saturday. Visit online or call 212-423-3000.

Stay Up-to-Date with Health Information

New York City is currently experiencing widespread community transmission of a new type of respiratory infection known as COVID-19. You can get up-to-date information from New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) to keep you and your family safe and healthy. They are posting lots of guidance and NYC case data about this illness (please follow this link for translated DOHMH guidance). You can text "COVID" to 692-692 to receive updates by text message.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C): The State and City Health Departments are currently investigating a condition, which can be very harmful or fatal to children, and which may be associated with COVID-19. It is important for parents, caregivers, and those working with children to be aware of this condition, because, though it continues to be uncommon, it can be fatal if not treated promptly.

This condition, which has features similar to Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome, is called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C and previously referred to as PMIS), and may be associated with COVID-19. It is important to recognize the signs, which include a high fever along with other symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, and swollen hands or feet. If a child is ill with a persistent fever, please contact their pediatrician as soon as possible to assess for MIS-C. If a child is acutely ill with other symptoms (rash, abdominal pain, chest pain) accompanying the fever, please call 911 immediately.

Please visit DOHMH’s website for more information (including translated materials).

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Mental Health Services

Need to talk to a someone? Do you need help handling stress, depression, anxiety or family struggles? Help is available.

  • Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center: Delivers comprehensive, integrated medical and mental health services and prevention education to young people aged 10 to 22. It offers counseling, support, mental health and family therapy. The center is open Monday through Saturday. Visit online or call 212-423-3000
  • NYC Well: NYC Well is your connection to free, confidential mental health support. Get access to mental health and substance use services in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365. Help is available through phone, text or chat! Call 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355), text WELL to 65173 or chat online.
  • Citywide Mental Health Telehealth Services: For citywide mental health services available by phone click here.

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LGBTQIA Health and Mental Health Resources

  • Ali Forney Center: For a full assessment of your physical and mental health needs visit Ali Forney Center or call from home at 212-206-0574
  • The Center provides LGBTQ young people and allies ages 13-21 with community support to foster healthy development in a safe, affirming, sex-positive, alcohol- and drug-free environment offering activities such as exercise classes, poetry reading, and community discussion (see calendar). They also offer outpatient substance use treatment to specifically address the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, and the factors that place them at higher risk for substance use. For more information click here or email recovery@gaycenter.org or call 212-620-7310 OR 646-556-9300.
  • H.E.A.T: Health & Education Alternatives for Teens (HEAT) provides medical care, mental health services and case management young men who have sex with men, young heterosexual women and transgender youth, all primarily from communities of color. Clinic will remain open and are available to answer your questions or concerns by phone at
    (718) 613-8453 or visit H.E.A.T.
  • Housing Works: Specializes in serving young gay men of color, young men who have sex with men (YMSM), MSM and transgender people of color, of any age, active drug users, LGBTQ youth, and the homeless or unstably housed. Visit Housing Works or call from home at
    (347) 473-7400
  • Trevor Project: A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQIA youth. Trained counselors are available to support you 24/7. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline now at 1-866-488-7386 or visit Trevor Project.
  • Trans Lifeline: Trans Lifeline offers peer support and can help you access the many emergency funds and mutual aid resources arising locally and nationally. Contact them at
    877-565-8860
  • NYC Unity Project Citywide LGBTQ + COVID-19 Guide: For up to date information on over 100 LGBTQ+ affirming programs and services still available virtually and in-person across NYC, visit the NYC Unit Project’s LGBTQ + COVID-19 Resource Guide

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Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment

If you think you have a problem with substance abuse or addiction, find an adult you trust to talk to. If you can't talk to your parents or another supportive adult, help is available.

  • Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center: Has a dedicated team of social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists which serve youth ages 10-24 dealing with substance abuse issues, regardless of their ability to pay. The center is open Monday through Saturday. Visit online or call 212-423-3000.
  • NY Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS): Addiction treatment and recovery services continue to be available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you need to talk or are worried that you will go into withdrawal or relapse, OASAS-certified or funded providers across New York State are available via phone/video or from a safe distance in person. For 24/7 help with addiction, substance use, or gambling, call 877-846-7369, text HOPENY (467369), or visit OASAS to read more.

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Family or Relationship Violence

Social distancing shouldn't mean social isolation. Often young people who are abused are afraid to report it. If you or someone you know is being abused, help is available.

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Suicide Prevention

If you're having thoughts of suicide, tell someone you trust like a friend, parent, teacher, coach or counselor. You're not in this alone. Help is available.

  • For immediate crisis assistance available 24/7, call The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255
  • To text with a counselor for free, text VOICE to 20121
  • For more ways to ask for help visit Your Life Your Voice

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Child Trafficking

If you are being trafficked or trading sex to survive, there is help. Here are resources to help you get into a safer, more stable place.

  • National Human Trafficking Hotline: Open 24/7/365 to all youth.
    Call 888-373-7888, text 233733, or read more.
  • NYPD Special Victims/Human Trafficking Hotline: Open 24/7/365 to all youth.
    Call 646-610-7272
  • Safe Horizon: Call the 24-hour hotline if you need help, 1-800-621-4673.
  • Covenant House: Crisis Counseling and emergency housing for youth 16 to 21.
    Call 212-613-0300 or visit Covenant House.
  • Day One: Individual services for exploited and trafficked males & females, and intimate dating violence, training: Call 212-566-8120, Ext. 5692 or email socialworker@dayoneny.org
  • GEMS: Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) in New York City provides services including short-term and crisis care, court advocacy, transitional and supportive housing, and case management. Call 212-926-8089
  • Tattoo Removal for Trafficked or Gang involved Youth: Email: tattoo.removal@acs.nyc.gov
  • If you’re in immediate danger, call 911.

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Bullying

Bullying can be physical, verbal, social, or online (cyber bullying). It can be a horrible experience and have serious consequences. If you're being bullied, know that it's not your fault. Tell a trusted adult what's going on. Talk to your parents, teachers, coaches, school principal or counselor.

  • Read more information on how to deal with bullying or call 212-423-3000 Monday through Saturday.
  • For NYC Department of Education students, get more information on how to report student-to-student discrimination, intimidation, harassment, including sexual harassment and/or bullying by visiting the DOE’s information page.

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Family Planning Options

  • Planned Parenthood Affiliates of NYC: For wellness exams, birth control, prenatal care, sexually transmitted infection testing, PEP, LBGTQIA health, PrEP, abortion procedures and select other service find a Planned Parenthood center near you. Call 1-800-230-PLAN or book an appointment online.
  • New York-Presbyterian's Family Planning Practice: The Family Planning Center for adult and adolescent women through age 45 and the Young Men's Clinic for males ages 14-35. Offering phone, video and in-person medical care. Call: 212-305-9321

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Teen Parent Support

Being a teen parent is not easy, and challenges can become magnified by the Coronavirus. For teen parenting support, see the following:

  • The Teen Parent Program at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center is here to help make things easier. Their goal is to make sure you and your baby are healthy by providing you with high quality medical services, social work services, psychological services, and nutrition information. All services are free of charge and confidential. Visit online or call Monday through Saturday at: 212-423-3000
  • Even when the Center is closed, an on-call pediatrician is available by phone, 24 hours a day. Just call 212-423-3000 and ask for the on-call pediatrician.

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Housing Support

  • The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) funds emergency housing and transitional living programs for Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY). You can find out more about RHY programs here.
  • Covenant House: open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide housing and support services to young people in need. Visit online or call 212-613-0300.
  • The Door: Offers housing and support services for young people in need, and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Email Jazzy Smith at jasmith@door.org for more information.

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ACS Resources for Youth

For youth currently in foster care, those who have recently discharged to independent living, or youth receiving other ACS services, we know that this is a challenging time when you may need extra support. There are lots of people who can help you, including your agency case planner and teams of specialists at ACS who can work with you on anything from getting your important documents, housing, job readiness, and education. Please visit the Youth section of our website or ask your agency case planner for more information. If you are not sure who to talk to, please contact the ACS Office of Advocacy for help and information.

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