We’re launching a comprehensive mental health plan for New York City.

The six principles below guide our work. We invite you to join the conversation and help us make mental health everyone’s business.

Confused about how mental illness works? Click here. 

Mental Health Roadmap
Year Two Update

Change the Culture

It’s time for New Yorkers to have an open conversation about mental health.

New Yorkers will be trained in mental health first aid so that they can better help friends, family members or co-workers to stay healthy.

so that they can better help friends, family members or co-workers to stay healthy.

Learn more about Mental Health First Aid

through a public engagement campaign to change the conversation about mental health in person and online.

Sign up to be part of the change
when addressing behaviors in the community.

Act Early

New Yorkers need more tools to weather challenges and capitalize on opportunities.
We can make that happen by investing in prevention and early intervention.


18% of children aged zero-17 experience two or more adverse events such as divorce, domestic violence, or family financial strain. Exposure to these kinds of life events can make it more likely for children to develop mental illness later in life.


27% of public high school students in NYC report feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for the prior two weeks – a predictor of depressive illness.

0 in 10

In 2013, one in ten NYC public high school students reported being hit, slapped, or physically hurt by someone they were dating or going out with within the last year.


LGBT youth are bullied twice as much and are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide. Some have also been kicked out of their homes, which results in LGBT youth being disproportionately represented among homeless youth.


By expanding mental health services in our schools, we will make sure more children have the support they need to thrive.


Only 10% of CUNY students with mental health symptoms received help from campus counseling or the health center. We will provide select campuses with access to web-based portals and apps to self-manage mental health as well additional on-site support through the expansion of the CUNY Mental Health Ambassadors Program.

Close Treatment Gaps

We can address disparities in care by providing New Yorkers in every neighborhood with care in their own communities.
We will address not only gaps in access and availability, but in effectiveness and impact.

of lower-income mothers develop symptoms of depression after pregnancy.
230,000 veterans live in New York, and one out of four are estimated to have PTSD and/or major depression.
of NYC Department of Homeless Services shelter clients have a serious mental illness; it’s closer to 40% among homeless who live on the streets.
Approximately half of all treatment for major depressive illness in the U.S. does not follow expert-recommended best practices.
0 out of every 1,000
older New York City residents were victims of elder abuse in a one year period.
All told, 41% of adult New Yorkers with a serious mental illness said they did not receive or were delayed getting treatment in the past year.

How We’re Closing Those Gaps

NYC has set a goal to screen and, when needed, connect all pregnant women and new mothers to treatment for pregnancy-related depression. Almost one-quarter of all births in New York City take place at the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation or Maimonides Medical Center. As a first step to meet our goal, they have committed to begin universal screening and treatment for their patients within two years.
Mental health services at runaway and homeless youth drop-in centers, crisis shelters and transitional independent living programs will be enhanced with extra funding.
Buprenorphine is a life-saving medication used to treat opioid use disorder by stopping cravings and preventing withdrawal symptoms. A new effort will train over 1,000 new providers to prescribe buprenorphine.
Naloxone reverses overdose from both opioid analgesics and heroin. For the first time, this year the City is making resources available to provide trained and certified organizations with naloxone to dispense to laypeople who will be trained in recognizing overdose and administering naloxone.

Partner with Communities

By embracing the wisdom and strength of local communities, we can collaborate to create effective and culturally competent solutions.

By embracing the wisdom and strength of local communities, we can collaborate to create effective and culturally competent solutions.

Approximately 400 recently graduated master’s and doctoral-level clinicians and 15 physicians will work in substance use programs, mental health clinics and primary care practices in high-need communities throughout the city.
NYC will develop a free, universally available web-based Learning Center to help community leaders address their group’s mental well-being.
The Early Years Collaborative will improve the health and well-being of children in New York using place-based work in the South Bronx and Brownsville. Replicable strategies developed in these neighborhoods can be applied elsewhere in the city.
Connections to Care (C2C) integrates mental health services into programs already serving low-income communities where people may not know they need help, or are reluctant to access it.

Use Better Data

Better data means better treatment, better policies, and better interventions.
Ultimately, it means healthier, happier New Yorkers.

A new Mental Health Innovation Lab will give the city the data and resources it needs to embrace its responsibility to coordinate this effort.

A child health survey will collect reliable citywide data on the health and emotional wellness of children. Many factors affect wellness for children and families, from adverse life events to access to care.

Strengthen Government’s Ability to Lead

Your government has a responsibility to support mental health.
We’re taking that seriously by serving as the clearinghouse to drive change.

NYC Well

The City launched NYC Well, a robust and accessible system that will serve as an easy point of entry to many of the City’s behavioral health services.

The Mental Health Council will connect and empower city agencies to implement the aims of this plan.



Reshape the Community Services Board that advises the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene’s mental health work by diversifying those included, to engage stakeholders whose voices have previously gone unheard.

The City will host the first Mayors Conference for Mental Health this year. The Conference will bring cities together to share new ideas and promising mental health initiatives, including our own.

Mayors Conference