ThriveNYC: A Mental Health Roadmap for All
A Summary by Kurt Sass
The City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray have published a 118-page book titled ThriveNYC: A Mental Health Roadmap for All. Reading it can be a daunting and overwhelming task. What I hope to accomplish in this article is to summarize the six Guiding Principles, as well as most of the 54 Targeted Initiatives, to make it just a little bit easier for someone who is seeking assistance for themselves or their loved ones.
Principle 1: Change the Culture
1. Mental Health First Aid Training: The city will facilitate this in-person training of 250,000 people over the next 5 years, beginning in the first two years with police officers, firefighters, emergency medical professionals, correction officers, community organizations, etc.
2. Roadmap Website and Mental Health Program Finder: A website has been launched for each of these (Note: the paragraphs do not state the actual websites addresses.)
3. Improve School Climate: A new Chancellor's Regulation has been designed to help de-escalate school behavior situations and reduce 911 calls.
4. Addressing the Trauma of Crime Victims: The city will place Victim Advocates at all 77 NYPD precincts and Bureau Police Service Areas.
5. Police Crisis Intervention Team program and Training: 5,000 officers will participate in the 4-day de-escalation training.
6. Public Health Drop-Off Centers: 2 centers will open where individuals have an option in lieu of hospitalization.
Principle 2: Act Early
1. Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in Early Care and Education: The city will train 9,000 teachers, assistant teachers and school leaders to support SEL competencies in the next 3 years.
2. Mental Health Clinics in Additional High-Needs Schools: The city will assess the needs for mental health services at 52 schools with a disproportionate number of suspensions.
3. Create Network of Mental Health Consultants Serving All Schools: The City will hire 100 School Mental Health Consultants, all of whom will be Masters-level social workers or counselors. They will work with every school citywide.
4. Mental Health Training for School Staff: Train school staff in the following: 1) Youth Mental Health First Aid, 2) Youth Suicide Prevention, and 3) At-Risk Training
5. "Talk to Baby, Their Brain Depends On It Campaign": Concentrating on meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being from birth to age 3. Includes weekly text messages to parents and caregivers as well as 200,000 Baby Book Bundles.
6. Expansion of Newborn Home Visiting Program: Adding 1,600 mothers of newborns in shelters to clients served.
7. Mental Health Service Coordination in All Family Shelters: A Licensed Clinical Social Worker will be placed in every contracted shelter.
8. Attachment and Bio-Behavioral Catch-ups: Ten (10) weekly one hour in-home sessions for parents and primary caregivers.
9. Training on Intimate Partner and Ten Dating Violence for Community School Staff: Training for all staff, including how to connect people to NYC Family Justice Center and NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy.
Principle 3: Close Treatment Gaps
1. Close Gaps on Maternal Depression: NYC Health and Hospitals and Maimonides Medical Center have committed to universal screening and treatment for maternal depression within two years.
2. NYC Support: 24/7 phone-based crisis center to be created by September of 2016.
3. Peer Specialist Training: The city will graduate 200 peer specialists beginning in fiscal year 2017.
4. Veterans Outreach Team and Holistic Treatment Fund: The city will invest $500,000 to expand the outreach team and $1 million dollars to create a veterans Holistic Treatment Fund.
5. Expand Access to Buprenorphine and Naloxone: Will train up to 1,500 new providers to provide Buprenorphine and provide trained laypeople with enough Naloxone to reach more than 7,000 New Yorkers.
6. Reduce Violence and Address Treatment in City Jails: Additional mental health training for 2,600 Officers. Reduction of officer to inmate ratio to 1:15 in adolescent units.
7. Cognitive Behavior Therapy Plus: To be introduced at 18 of 23 contracted foster care agencies.
8. Mental Health and Substance Use Programming for All Youth at Riker’s Island: Psychiatric assessments and after school therapeutic arts programs for all youth 21, and substance abuse programs for those age 16-21.
9. Mental health Services in All Family Justice Centers: The new program will accommodate 1,000 clients per year.
10. Geriatric Mental Health in Senior Centers: A Licensed Clinical Worker or professional with similar skills in up to 25 of the largest senior citizens centers, reaching a total of 3,750 people annually.
11. Integrated Brief Intervention for Substance Misuse: Introduction of substance abuse screening in all 8 of the city's sexually transmitted disease clinics.
12. Expand and Enhance Discharge Planning Services: Expand existing jail discharge service to serve an additional 8,100 people who leave jail through the Dept. of correction's I-CAN program and the Health and Hospital Corp.'s new substance-use discharge planning program.
Principle 4: Partner with Communities
1. NYC Mental Health Corps: To be created of approximately 400 physicians and recently graduated Masters and Doctoral-level clinicians to work in high-need communities, and provide approximately 400,000 additional hours of service.
2. "Friendly Visiting" to Combat Social Isolation Among Seniors: 12 Case Management Agencies will be funded to identify 1,200 homebound clients in need.
3. Mental Health Weekend for Faith-Based Communities: On a designated weekend, faith leaders across the City will be invited to preach on the topic of mental health.
Principle 5: Use Data Better
1. Mental Health Innovative Lab: Spurred by action including the 2010 Mental Health parity and Addiction Equity Act, the Lab will drive the use of evidence-based best practices throughout the field.
2. Evaluate Financial Sustainability of School-Based Mental Health Services: This will be used in the 200 DOE schools that currently have mental health clinics.
3. Evaluate Existing Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams: The current 44 teams will be evaluated.
4. Ensure the City Uses Jail and Diversion Programming Effectively: Strategies and goals include: expanded supervised release, universal screening for physical and mental health problems as well as reduced reliance on monetary bail.
5. Child Health Survey: The DOHMH took a survey of more than 3,000 families in 2015 to collect data on the health and emotional wellness of children under ages 12 and younger.
Principle 6: Strengthen Government’s Ability to Lead
1. Launch NYC Mental Health Council: Comprised of more than 20 City agencies, developing new ways for City employees to play a role in the care pathway.
2. Continue Working Closely with the State on the Transition to Medicaid Managed Care: Develop service manuals, conduct on-site reviews and develop consumer education materials, among other efforts.
3. New Supportive Housing for Vulnerable New Yorkers: 15,000 apartments of supportive housing over the next 15 years.
4. Host the first Mayors Conference for Mental Health, which will take place in 2016.