Mental Health Council Issues 150 Day Update on ThriveNYC

June 2, 2016

Ramp up continues; significant progress made

NEW YORK––The Mental Health Council, established by ThriveNYC and led by First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, today released an update on the progress of ThriveNYC programs. ThriveNYC is the action plan to begin changing the way people think about mental health and substance misuse and to improve access to services launched by First Lady McCray in November. The City is investing $850 million in this work over the next four years.

“We’ve made significant progress in these first months after our launch of ThriveNYC, but we are actually just getting started,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, who leads the City’s work on mental health and substance misuse. “There is so much more to do, but we are off to a good start with thousands of New Yorkers who have learned to identify and respond to the symptoms of mental illness. There are also now thousands of police officers who have been through crisis intervention training and can better de-escalate tense situations and respond appropriately to someone in mental distress. We are well on our way to making sure that every school in the city has access to mental health support.”
“Since the launch of ThriveNYC last November we have engaged in an extraordinary undertaking to implement the wide-ranging and highly impactful initiatives that make up New York City’s Mental Health Roadmap,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Buery. “We have made some early progress with an active Maternal Depression Learning Collaborative underway, a highly successful Mental Health Faith weekend, school-based mental health initiatives in place and growing, and have formed an inter-agency Mental Health Council to work collaboratively to achieve our goals of prevention, early identification, access to care, and the promotion of mental health for all New Yorkers.”

“Addressing mental health issues is an important component in making New York City a better place for all of our residents to live,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The Mental Health Council is taking important steps toward improving the way we deal with these issues in our city, and I applaud First Lady McCray for her leadership in this initiative. I look forward to our city taking additional steps to make comprehensive improvements in mental health services in the future.”

Highlights of the update include:
  • More than 1,000 faith communities representing 250,000 New Yorkers discussed mental health at services on the weekend of May 20-22.
  • 29 hospitals responsible for 78 percent of newborn deliveries in NYC annually have committed to screen all mothers in their care for maternal depression.
  • More than 2,300 New Yorkers trained in how to identify signs and symptoms of mental illness, respond in a crisis, and connect people to treatment.
  • $2-million-dollar “Today I Thrive” public awareness campaign launched; the subway ads alone are estimated to reach 2 million people.
  • 2,500 NYPD officers trained in Crisis Intervention Training, which provides officer the tools and knowledge they need to de-escalate crisis situations and respond to challenges related to mental health, substance misuse and other disabilities.
  • 37 new school mental health clinics opened, with an additional 15 anticipated in the next school year. One quarter of the Mental Health Consultants have been hired, with all 100 to be in place by the end of the year.
  • 263 young people in foster care and 243 foster care parents and staff have participated in workshops that teach healthy relationship skills.
  • 1,700 mental health interventions have been provided to vulnerable young people in runaway and homeless youth shelters, and mental health services are available at all City-contracted sites.
  • 110 Mental Health Corps members selected; with a total of 125 to be hired by July 2016.
State Senator Jesse Hamilton, Ranking Member of the Committee on Mental Health said, “Tackling New York’s mental health challenges requires sustained action by leaders from all quarters. As Ranking Member of the New York State Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, I am heartened to see sustained action underway and welcome this 150-day update on ThriveNYC from First Lady Chirlane McCray, Deputy Mayor Richard Buery and the Mental Health Council. Last week I had the pleasure of honoring First Lady McCray at the inaugural Reflection of Hope Luncheon with an Inspiring Hope Award. ‘Inspiring Hope’ is a truly apt description of the leadership she has shown and that this first 150 days represents. It inspires hope that we can overcome the significant challenges the ongoing mental health crisis presents – particularly to communities of color across our city. It inspires hope that, along with more than 1,000 houses of worship, I was able to join with faith leaders in Central Brooklyn for the ThriveNYC Weekend of Faith. And it inspires hope that more than 2,300 New Yorkers have been trained in mental health first aid already, including at least sixty Brooklynites in my district who attended workshops I partnered in presenting. ThriveNYC has had an outstanding first 150 days, I look forward to continuing to partner on the next 150 days, and every day after that. We need to keep inspiring hope and taking concrete steps towards the healthy communities New Yorkers deserve.”
“The promising results presented in this report detail the significant progress made by the Mental Health Council since the launch of the Thrive NYC action plan,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Ranking Member of the Committee on Health. “Once again, I want to congratulate First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery for leading this collaborative effort between our City, our health care institutions and our communities. These efforts will go a long way in providing the thousands of New Yorkers suffering from mental health illnesses with more direct and efficient care.”
“Every area of public policy involves mental health issues, from education to law enforcement to drug policy,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health. “ThriveNYC has brought new awareness to an issue that impacts millions of New Yorkers. I applaud First Lady Chirlane McCray for this important program and its many accomplishments.”
“The City’s unprecedented investment in mental health through ThriveNYC has already paid significant dividends. Thousands of New Yorkers have been trained in how to identify symptoms and properly respond in crises; dozens of school mental health clinics are already operating, and mental health services are now available at all City-contracted shelters. Substantial progress has been made in such a short amount of time and even more progress will be made as further investment occurs over the next few years. First Lady Chirlane McCray is leading by example, and I am thankful for her hard work which is making a tremendous difference in our City,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health.

The full report can be accessed here.



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