The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health focuses on closing gaps in mental health care. Our programs advance four goals:
- Promote mental health for the youngest New Yorkers
- Eliminate barriers to care
- Reach people with the highest need
- Strengthen crisis prevention and response
For all our programs, we track metrics and regularly publish data on programmatic reach and the impact these programs are having in the lives of those served.
To understand the population-level effect of our programs and how these programs are closing gaps in mental health care, the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health engages a Science Advisory Group. This Science Advisory Group is comprised of leading national and international experts in epidemiology, treatment, care and the social drivers of mental health. This Science Advisory Group has developed two population-level measures that can be directly tied to our work. If the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health continues closing gaps in care, New York City will see changes in the following population-level measures in the next five years:
More New Yorkers with mental health needs are connected to treatment
Defined as 1) more New Yorkers with an identified mental health need receive treatment, and 2) greater equity in connection to treatment.
Fewer mental health needs become crises
Defined as 1) fewer mental health emergencies, as measured by 911 dispatches and emergency department visits, and 2) less disparity in mental health emergencies.
In assessing progress on these measures, it’s important to acknowledge that many factors contribute to mental health and the need for mental health care. For example, in New York City, experiences of discrimination or racism, material hardship, poor home living conditions, few social ties, or perceiving your neighbors as unwilling to help in their communities can all be associated with poor mental health (source). Achieving equity in mental health will require addressing these overarching social factors to meet the financial, environmental, and social needs of New Yorkers (source).
The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health Science Advisory Group membership:
- Co-Chair: Vikram Patel, MBBS, PhD: Harvard Medical School
- Co-Chair: Susan Herman, JD: Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health
- Margarita Alegria, PhD: Disparities Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital; Harvard Medical School
- Preeti Chauhan, PhD: John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
- Mandy Davis, LCSW, PhD: Regional Research Institute, School of Social Work, Portland State University; Trauma Informed Oregon
- Lisa B. Dixon, MD, MPH: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons; New York State Psychiatric Institute
- Susan Essock, PhD: Columbia University
- Hillary Kunins, MD, MPH, MS: Division of Mental Health, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- Sungwoo Lim, DrPH: Division of Epidemiology, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- Brian McGregor, PhD, Morehouse School of Medicine
- Vicky Ngo, PhD: City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy; RAND Corporation