Message from Susan Herman,
Director of the Mayor's Office of ThriveNYC
I have spent almost my entire career advocating on behalf of people who are typically forgotten: victims of crime, many of whom experience profound mental health challenges. What I know from that work and the work I am now directing at the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC is that if we can build more resilience, mitigate trauma, and address mental health needs, we will have a stronger, safer, and healthier city.
In the last few years, Thrive has grown from a great idea to a dedicated Mayoral office, working with and across City agencies to promote mental health.
Since we became a Mayoral office in early 2019, we have built robust research and program management systems to support our agency partners in maximizing the reach and impact of Thrive programs. We have also prioritized innovation, pursuing several new strategies that add critical resources for New Yorkers. For example, we announced a new partnership with the City’s Department of Education: School Response Clinicians, clinical social workers who support students and schools in crisis. And in October 2019, we doubled ThriveNYC’s annual investment in services for New Yorkers with serious mental health needs, creating new mobile intervention and treatment teams to enhance community-based care.
Over the last year, the new Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC has been laser-focused on:
- Evaluation and measurement: We refined outcome measures for all Thrive programs and made them public in June 2019. Data on these outcome measures will be regularly published on our website. We have partnered with nationally and internationally recognized experts to develop population-level indicators we can associate with ThriveNYC’s work.
- Examining the ThriveNYC portfolio: ThriveNYC pilots and incubates innovative strategies. We have taken a close look at all Thrive programs – for those that work well, we are growing the capacity of agencies to take over their management and implementation in a sustainable way. Where programs did not work as well as we hoped, we are trying new approaches. We have articulated a focus on four core programmatic goals: promote mental health for the youngest New Yorkers; eliminate barriers to care; reach people with the highest need; and strengthen crisis prevention and response.
- Consistent partnership with experts and community leaders: Thrive began with a listening tour, and its programs were shaped in response to the thousands of New Yorkers who spoke with us about their mental health needs. We are redoubling efforts to partner with New Yorkers to refine how and where we work.
- Communicating our work to the public: This website provides regular information about ThriveNYC’s programs. Check back often to learn more and find out how to connect to care.
We are deeply committed to ensuring that every New Yorker who needs mental health support has access to it, wherever and whenever they need it. We do this by delivering more services to more people and in more ways. And we do this because we know that mental health support can change the course of people’s lives and strengthen our citywide well being.
I look forward to your partnership.
-Susan Herman, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director, Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC