Health Department Launches New NYC Well Awareness Campaign

As of April 30, NYC Well has handled more than 340,000 calls, texts, chats and online mobile crisis referrals — an average of 18,900 per month since its launch in October 2016

Of the average monthly NYC Well contacts, 12 percent are for crisis situations; 41 percent for information and referral to behavioral health services; and 46 percent for immediate support from a counselor or peer support specialist

May 14, 2018 — The Health Department today launched a new campaign to encourage New Yorkers to contact NYC Well for mental health support. NYC Well counselors and peer support specialists provide crisis counseling and information and referral to ongoing services, regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage. As of April 30, NYC Well handled more than 340,000 calls, texts, chats and online mobile crisis referrals since its launch in late October 2016. The “We’re Here” campaign will run through the end of June on the subway, in newspapers, on the Staten Island ferry, on TV and on social media. The campaign will also go in neighborhood bodegas, nail and hair salons, barber shops, laundromats and check-cashing facilities. NYC Well is free, confidential, and available 24/7 in over 200 languages. The program is operated by the Mental Health Association of New York City through a contract with the Health Department.

“NYC Well is here for all New Yorkers who need help getting services for mental illness or addiction — for themselves, a family member, friend or neighbor. Absolutely no one is turned away,” said NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, who leads the City’s mental health and substance misuse efforts. “With this new campaign, we hope to reach as many New Yorkers as possible with the all-important message that we are here for you. Help is only a call, text or chat away, and reaching out is the first step to wellness.”

“NYC Well counselors are ready to provide support for any mental health concern, including a crisis,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “We want New Yorkers to know that NYC Well is here for them. Effective treatment is available for mental health and substance use concerns, and we’re here to help.”

“Mental health needs are often shunted to the background in schools, workplaces, and in people's lives,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “It's good government policy to serve those needs before they become a crisis. I applaud the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene for launching this new outreach to tell people there's real help available by calling 888-NYC-WELL.”

“Whole health care means more than just treating physical illness. The ‘NYC Well’ hotline offers information, assistance, and hope to those worried about the mental well-being of themselves or their loved ones. Every New Yorker should be know about NYC Well and the many other resources available to help people improve their mental health,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried.

“NYC Well is a great resource for New Yorkers who are struggling with addiction, are facing a crisis situation, or just want someone to talk to about ongoing issues. This awareness campaign will help ensure more New Yorkers know that these services are available to them every day of the year. I join the NYC Department of Health in encouraging my constituents, and any New Yorker who needs mental health support, to reach out to NYC Well,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera.

“Everyone should be aware of the mental health services NYC Well helps provide,” said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm. “With just one phone call or text message, NYC Well connects New Yorkers with crisis counseling and other types of support regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage. I am pleased to work with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to raise awareness of this program which has the potential to reach those in urgent need of mental health care.”

Of the contacts handled by NYC Well from October 2016 to April 2018, 12 percent were identified as crisis situations; 46 percent were seeking immediate support; and 41 percent needed information or a referral for behavioral health services. Since the beginning of the program, over 15,000 requests have been made for a follow-up call or text from NYC Well, and over 5,400 requests have been made for immediate transfer to schedule an appointment with a provider of their choice for ongoing behavioral health services.

Approximately 49 percent of contacts to NYC Well reported seeking help for themselves; 5 percent reported seeking help for a friend or family member; and 6 percent reported being providers on behalf of clients. The remaining 40 percent of contacts did not reveal their connection to the person about whom they called.

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.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Miller / Stephanie Buhle (347) 396-4177
PressOffice@health.nyc.gov