City Life Org – Expanded NYC Well Mental Health Helpline, Strengthened 988 Federal Crisis Line Base


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Additional state funding will allow NYC Well to answer up to 500,000 calls, texts and chats from New Yorkers in fiscal year 2023

Launch of the national line 988 on Saturday July 16

City urges federal government to quickly resolve geolocation issues, so all New Yorkers can automatically reach NYC when they call 988

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health (OCMH) today announced that the city New York City will expand its successful free mental health hotline, NYC Well—strengthening the foundation of the federal 988 hotline. New York City already far exceeds federal standards for 988, but this expansion – funded by a $10.8 million investment from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) – will provide more staff for increased access to crisis counseling, support peer support, information, and referral to ongoing behavioral health services. The increased capacity will allow NYC Well counselors and peer support specialists, in particular, to respond to up to 500,000 calls, texts and chats from New Yorkers between July 2022 and June 2023, an increase of nearly 20% of capacity compared to the previous year.

Mayor Adams today also urged the federal government to resolve geolocation issues with 988, so that everyone in New York who dials or texts 988 is automatically connected to the telephone hotline for Mental Health of New York, NYC Well, and not to a counselor located in an area. associated with the area code where their mobile number is located. Currently, if the referrer calls 988 from an area code other than New York, they will be directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline associated with their area code and then manually transferred to NYC Well. As the federal government works to resolve this issue, the city encourages all New Yorkers, especially those without a New York area code, to continue to call NYC Well at 888-NYC- WELL to best ensure a direct connection with the NYC Well range. services without the need for manual redirection.

“NYC Well’s expansion means more New Yorkers have access to essential mental health resources and support, when and how they need it,” said Mayor Adams. “New York’s NYC Well line already far exceeds federal standards and as the rollout of the 988 emergency line continues, I urge the federal government to quickly address the geolocation issues present so that all New Yorkers , regardless of area code, can automatically reach our local , full-service. I am also grateful to Governor Hochul and the New York State Office of Mental Health for this funding that will allow us to reach even more of New Yorkers.

“For any New Yorker struggling with anxiety, depression, or mental health issues of any kind, you should know that the city is working to streamline services in conjunction with the state and government. federal,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Social Services Anne Williams-Isom. “The measures announced today will do just that. NYC Well is there for you, when you need it.

“As we tackle the lasting trauma, pain and anxiety caused by the pandemic, this investment in NYC Well will be essential in meeting the mental health needs of more New Yorkers,” said declared DOHMH Commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “These resources will ensure that New York City remains a national leader in providing on-demand mental health services to people in crisis, and that we are laying the foundation to be a leader in implementing the line of Federal 988 crisis hotline in the months and years to come. . We are committed to ensuring, no matter what number is dialed in the short term, that New Yorkers get the mental health supports they need and they now rely on thanks to NYC Well. I thank the New York State Office of Mental Health for this investment in the future of New York City.”

“COVID-19 has deeply affected our communities, and its impacts will be felt for years to come,” said DOHMH Acting Executive Assistant Commissioner for Mental Hygiene, Dr. Michael McRae. “If you are struggling with mental health or addiction, there is always support available for you. Contact NYC Well.

“The city is committed to ensuring that all New Yorkers can access mental health support where, when and how they need it. We thank the state for supporting the implementation of 988 by adding funding to NYC Well – a lifeline, especially in communities of color, where too many barriers have prevented individuals and families from receiving services,” said Tina Chiu and Jason Hansman, Acting Co-Directors, Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health. “One of the biggest challenges in accessing appropriate mental health services, including crisis support, is knowing where to turn, and we appreciate our partnership with DOHMH in implementing this program. This new investment will allow NYC Well to make those connections and provide high-quality service to more New Yorkers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Now that 988 is live, in New York only calls and texts to 988 from the following area codes are automatically routed to NYC Well counselors: 212, 332, 347, 646, 718, 917 and 929 This creates another access point to NYC Well, and callers will have access to the same services provided to others who call, text, or chat with NYC Well counselors. New York City is committed to being a national leader in implementing 988, and today’s resource announcement will ensure that the introduction of this critical federal tool builds on the strong infrastructure created by NYC Well.

NYC Well provides an entry point to the city’s mental health and addictions services via comprehensive 24/7/365 support by calling 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355), texting “WELL ” at 65173, or using NYC Well Online Chat. NYC Well provides solid crisis counseling, referrals to ongoing care, help with scheduling appointments, connecting to mobile crisis services, peer support and aftercare.

When New Yorkers contact NYC Well, they will be connected to a trained counselor or peer support specialist – someone with lived experience of mental health and/or addiction issues – who will listen and support them. . Services are free and confidential, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Translation is available in over 200 languages. New York City has expanded NYC Well capacity since the program launched in October 2016, in response to growing demand for the service.

If a New Yorker or someone they know is at immediate risk of harm or in immediate danger, they should call 911.
“With round-the-clock support, NYC Well has been a lifeline for New York communities. This investment comes at a critical time as mental health needs have increased and 988 will make seeking help even more easily accessible,” said Kimberly Williams, President and CEO, Vibrant Emotional Health – Trustees of NYC Well and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “We are grateful for the support of the New York State Office of Mental Health in the implementation of 988 and are pleased to partner with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and to the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health to bring this vital resource to even more New Yorkers in need of mental health support.

“It’s a unique time when we have to do everything we can to meet people where they are and help them when needed,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Miller, President, Well Being Trust. “The city’s ongoing commitment to strengthening NYC Well represents an investment in the people of New York and an opportunity to carefully examine how we address mental health, addictions and suicide prevention issues and a pathway to major access toward broader implementation of 988. 988 is a significant opportunity to change the way we approach mental health in our country, and this expansion and financial commitment will not only help improve the capacity of the NYC Well but also to build much-needed infrastructure for a robust response to the 988 system crisis.”


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