© The Center for Innovation in Mental Health. All rights reserved

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Center for Innovation in Mental Health at the CUNY Graduate School
of Public Health and Health Policy 
55 West 125th Street                    CIMH@sph.cuny.edu
New York, NY 10027                    Office: 646-364-9633

The First Lady of New York, Chirlane McCray, launched ThriveNYC, a roadmap designed to begin changing the way people think about mental health and the way City government and its many partners deliver services. With a four-year investment of $850 million across 54 programs, ThriveNYC is the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or state in the nation.  Our initiatives seek to advance six guiding principles:


  1. Change the Culture. Make mental health everybody’s business. It’s time for New Yorkers to have an open conversation about mental health. Far too many of us still think of "depression" and "addiction" as dirty words - shameful afflictions that must be hidden at all costs. And far too many of us still don't think about mental wellness the same way we think about physical wellness - as something that can be actively improved and strengthened as part of an everyday commitment to overall health.

  2. Act Early. Give New Yorkers tools to weather challenges and capitalize on opportunities by investing in prevention and early intervention. Prevention and promotion must be at the core of any public health campaign. Broadly speaking, promotion efforts focus on helping people develop tools like resilience, strong parent attachments, and mindfulness. This guiding principle focuses on two key areas: Early childhood support and Early diagnosis and linkages to care for vulnerable populations.

  3. Close Treatment Gaps. Provide New Yorkers in every neighborhood – including those at greatest risk – with equal access to care that works for them and their communities, when and where they need it. Closing treatment gaps is not only a matter of expanding the quantity of clinical services for mental illness and substance use disorders and misuse. Because of significant mental health workforce shortages and an overall inconsistency of care even when specialists are available, we need new ways to organize those services and make sure they align with the goals listed above. 

  4. Partner with Communities. Enhance the wisdom and strengths of local communities by collaborating with them to create effective and culturally competent solutions.We must help both community organizations and individual community members connect with each other and provide them with the options and information they need to be of service when one of their neighbors is dealing with a mental illness. 

  5. Use Data Better. Work with all stakeholders to address gaps, improve programs, and create a truly equitable and responsive mental health system by sharing and using information and data better. Data collection and analysis are a key part of any evidence-based decision-making process. There is still much that we don't know about the mental health of New Yorkers and the effectiveness of services. Coming up with useful answers will require the use of traditional surveillance instruments and epidemiologic studies, but also more innovative tools such as crowd-sourcing information to provide real-time data. 

  6. Strengthen Government’s Ability to Lead. Affirm City government’s responsibility to coordinate an unprecedented effort to support the mental health of all New Yorkers. In order to achieve our ambitious goals and create long-term systems change, we are undertaking an unprecedented effort to bring the de Blasio Administration, City Council, City agencies, community partners, and other branches of government together in pursuit of our shared objectives. This work will start at the very top, with Mayor de Blasio, First Lady McCray, and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery working with commissioners.

Click here for a grid displaying all 54 initiatives within each guiding principle.

Click here to read about our  Proposal Review Process.