Announcements / March 30, 2021

ThriveNYC, NYC Department of Youth & Community Development Bring Mental Health Outreach and Support to Cornerstone Programs in NYCHA Community Centers 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2021
CONTACTS: Sean Redding, ThriveNYC, press@thrive.nyc.gov; Mark Zustovich, DYCD, mzustovich@dycd.nyc.gov 

THRIVENYC, NYC DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BRING MENTAL HEALTH OUTREACH AND SUPPORT TO CORNERSTONE PROGRAMS IN NYCHA COMMUNITY CENTERS 

“Pathways to Wellbeing” includes youth mental health libraries at 10 Cornerstone sites through a partnership with Penguin Random House and mental health training for all Cornerstone staff 

NEW YORK—The Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC Director Susan Herman and NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Bill Chong today announced Pathways to Wellbeing, a partnership with Penguin Random House that provides new mental health libraries, which will include books written by authors of color, at ten of the City’s Cornerstone Community Centers in NYCHA developments. Launched during National Reading Month in March, the initiative also includes mental health training for all Cornerstone staff and will increase community-based pathways to mental health support for youth and young adults.

“Books can help young people find solace and inspiration,” said Susan Herman, Director of the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC. “With the support of caring, trained Cornerstone staff, this partnership will give youth across the city new pathways to mental health support and hope.”

“From distributing food and personal protective equipment to offering essential programs and services, DYCD-funded Cornerstone Community Centers have stepped up to the plate during the pandemic—and they’re doing it again with Pathways to Wellbeing. DYCD is proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC and Penguin Random House to address two other critical needs during these uncertain times: providing mental health support for our young people and keeping them engaged through the power of reading,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.

All 10 new mental health libraries will have access to books written for young adults by authors who explore mental health challenges in their writing:

  1. DEAR JUSTYCE, Nic Stone
  2. PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING, Randy Ribay   
  3. DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY, Adib Khorram 
  4. I HAVE LOST MY WAY, Gayle Forman
  5. SHOUT, Laurie Halse Anderson
  6. I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER, Erika Sanchez

Penguin Random House has donated 600 books to these libraries.

“As we continue to navigate the pandemic, racial injustice, and other immeasurable challenges, mental health and wellbeing are more important than ever—especially for young people,” said Claire von Schilling, EVP, Director, Corporate Communications & Social Responsibility, Penguin Random House. “Penguin Random House is honored to partner with ThriveNYC and DYCD to help provide this much-needed support to communities right in our company’s backyard.”

“I’m so honored that my novel was included in this project. Literature is an amazing way to illuminate the experiences of people who are different. I hope that this project gives teens access to words that help them heal,” said Erika Sanchez, Random House Children’s Book Author.

Through Pathways to Wellbeing, new mental health libraries are available in all five boroughs:

Cornerstone

Borough

Location

Murphy

Bronx

601 Crotona Park North, Bronx, NY 10457

Sedgwick

Bronx

1553 University Ave, Bronx, NY 10453

Lafayette

Brooklyn

442 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Roosevelt II

Brooklyn

400 Hart St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Unity Plaza

Brooklyn

576 Blake Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11207

Baruch

Manhattan

605 FDR Drive, New York, NY 10019

Rutgers

Manhattan

200 Madison St, New York, NY 10002

Astoria

Queens

4-05 Astoria Blvd, Astoria, NY 11102

South Beach

Staten Island

155 Norway Ave, Staten Island, NY 10305

West Brighton I 

Staten Island

230 Broadway, Staten Island, NY 10310

DYCD-funded Cornerstone Programs provide engaging, high-quality, year-round programs for adults and young people. Programs are located at 99 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Community Centers throughout the five boroughs. As part of the Pathways to Wellbeing initiative announced today, young people who visit any Cornerstone program in the City will have access to staff trained to support New Yorkers who are experiencing mental health challenges, bullying, and trauma. Caring adults play an important role in the lives of children and young people, helping them build resilience and offering support and guidance when needed (source). Training is ongoing, with more than 31 percent of Cornerstone provider staff and nearly all DYCD program staff who serve Cornerstone sites already completing it. The training is available to all at the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC’s website

Any New Yorker who needs mental health support can reach out to NYC Well, the City’s free, confidential mental health helpline. Counselors are available via phone, text, or chat to get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365. Call 1-888-NYC-WELL, text “WELL” to 65173, or chat online at nyc.gov/nycwell.

About the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC
The Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC (ThriveNYC) oversees a citywide commitment to promote mental health for all New Yorkers. ThriveNYC partners with 13 City agencies to implement 30 innovative mental health programs that serve hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers every year. Thrive programs reach people with the highest need—those with serious mental illness, those affected by trauma, and those living in historically underserved neighborhoods. Thrive programs also break down barriers to care for all New Yorkers by providing free services in multiple languages, regardless of insurance or immigration status. ThriveNYC’s work prioritizes equity and inclusion and builds the evidence base for innovative approaches. For more information on the reach and impact of NYC Well and all 30 of ThriveNYC’s innovative programs, visit the
 ThriveNYC Data Dashboard.

About the New York City Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD)

DYCD’s mission is to invest in a network of community-based organizations and programs to alleviate the effects of poverty and to provide opportunities for New Yorkers and communities to flourish. Our work supports New York City youth and their families by funding a wide range of high-quality youth and community development programs, including afterschool, family support, literacy services, youth services, and youth workforce development. DYCD funds 99 Cornerstone Community Centers in all five boroughs and administers the K-8 Learning Labs component of the Learning Bridges program. For more on DYCD and its funded programs, visit the agency website at nyc.gov/dycd.

About Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House is the world’s first truly global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin, with the parent companies owning 53% and 47%, respectively. Penguin Random House comprises the adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India, Penguin’s trade publishing activity in Asia and South Africa; DK Worldwide; and Random House’s companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.