Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) to provide services for expanded mental health services via phone and text
Part of ThriveNYC, new service will replace LIFENET to significantly expand access to behavioral care
NEW YORK––First Lady Chirlane McCray today announced that the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) has been preliminarily selected to execute NYC Support, a key component of ThriveNYC’s effort to improve access to behavioral health care.
NYC Support will create an improved and expanded central place for New Yorkers searching for mental health support. Similarly to how 311 provided one access point for City services, NYC Support will provide one central place for anyone in the city seeking mental health services. A dramatic expansion of the city’s previous crisis line, NYC Support will provide crisis counseling and connect New Yorkers to mental health services by web, telephone and text. 1-800-LIFE-NET will continue to operate 24/7 until NYC Support is announced and online.
In addition to crisis counseling and connecting to New Yorkers to services, NYC Support will:
- Allow New Yorkers to speak with a certified peer specialist, who can support those struggling with mental health challenges;
- Allow New Yorkers to connect with mental health resources via text messaging and the web;
- Provide ongoing non-crisis counseling such as follow up phone-based sessions when indicated; and,
- Provide follow-up support through phone calls or texts to NYC Support users to ensure they are fully connected with the care they need.
NYC Support will include a 24/7 hotline that will also be able to provide more comprehensive crisis intervention, suicide prevention and follow-up services for individuals who are at risk of suicide. The service will be available in the 150 most commonly spoken languages.
The mental health contract represents a $20 million investment over 3 years.
“Someone who suffers from a mental health challenge should not have to overcome so many obstacles to find help,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “That’s why, for the first time in New York City history, we are establishing a single place for New Yorkers to connect to the mental health care they need. We are building in the ability to support New Yorkers who are looking for help with peer specialists, and by following up to make sure they went to the appointment they scheduled. We will also work to make sure they are comfortable with their counselors and have services in the language they speak, in their own neighborhood. By making it easier for New Yorkers to find the mental health care they need, we will improve people’s lives and our city.”
“In order to create a better mental health system, we have to meet New Yorkers where they are,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “NYC Support makes it easier than ever for New Yorkers to get connected to mental health services. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, and I encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of these expanded services.”
“NYC Support will be a big step forward to realize a key principle of ThriveNYC: easy access to the services, support and information people need,” said Executive Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Gary Belkin. “We look forward to working with MHA and their partners to get NYC Support to New Yorkers.”
“We look forward to helping hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers of all ages find and gain access to the behavioral health they need,” said Kathryn Salisbury, Executive Vice President at MHA-NYC. “We will be playing a much more proactive role in facilitating access to services and helping people enter care.”
“Mental health issues are health issues as serious as any other, and it’s wonderful that we are finally recognizing that,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I applaud the Mayor for ensuring that quality mental health services will be easily available to all New Yorkers seeking them.”
“NYC Support will make it easier than ever to connect New Yorkers with the proper mental health services. Those suffering should have a direct line to getting the help they need, NYC Support and its 24/7 hotline will do exactly that. With services now available by web, telephone and text, the road to a healthier life will meet you on all accessible mediums; I encourage all New Yorkers to take advantage of these expanded health services,” said City Council Member Andrew Cohen, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health.
“One of the major barriers to accessing mental health care is the lack of a single point of access,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Health. “This initiative has the potential to revolutionize the way that New Yorkers can connect to mental health services. With crisis counseling, peer specialists and follow-up services, NYC Support will help thousands of New Yorkers access the healthcare they need. This significant investment reflects the importance that the de Blasio administration is placing on mental healthcare. I commend First Lady Chirlane McCray and Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett for taking a leading role in the effort to improve mental health care in our City.”
MHA-NYC, a national leader in mental health services, advocacy and education with a long established expertise in serving individuals with mental health and substance use disorders, will launch NYC Support this fall.