First Lady Chirlane McCray announced today a partnership between the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the Health Department, and the Fund for Public Health that will create a roadmap for a more inclusive mental health system in New York City. The goal of the roadmap is to bring together multiple City agencies, community partners, and mental health providers to develop a more comprehensive and unified approach to mental health services.
“For too long, our society has tried to ignore the great emotional, social and economic costs of mental illness, even as so many of our neighbors suffer in silence,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “I’m proud to announce that the Mayor’s Fund will play a leading role in the push to address this crisis head on. This summer, we will release a roadmap for a more inclusive mental health system. And soon after, the Fund will commit resources to pursue its findings.”
“A public health approach makes promoting better mental health a social, not only a personal, responsibility,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “Through collaboration with experts across multiple sectors, we will develop a roadmap to identify existing disparities and help us better reach those in need of care.”
“We know that common mental health and substance use conditions affect so many aspects of our lives, but we’ve tended to respond to them in ways that are too partial or fragmented to live up to that wide impact,” said Dr. Gary Belkin, Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene at the Health Department. “We have an opportunity to align the significant changes underway in health and mental health care delivery and planning right now, around more preventive, comprehensive, and accessible approaches.”
“The Mayor’s Fund is committed to supporting innovative strategies to help New Yorkers suffering from mental illness,” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund. “This is a policy area that is ripe for new ideas, and we think funders will want to help because mental illness touches almost everyone in some way.”
“The Fund for Public Health is pleased to work with the First Lady, the Mayor’s Fund and the NYC Health Department to build on its mental health work and help create a more inclusive mental health system in New York,” said Sara Gardner, Executive Director of the Fund for Public Health. “This is an incredible opportunity to help make lasting change.”
The roadmap will help guide the Mayor’s Fund in how it advances mental health services in New York City. It will describe the prevalence of common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and alcohol and drug use, and break them out by a number of demographic indicators, including race and economic status.