Original Media Source: NYC Newswire
To commemorate Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week observed annually on the first week of May, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery share progress achieved through ThriveNYC to target interventions to New York City youth in order to prevent and treat mental health issues.
ThriveNYC was launched November 2015 to transform the City’s approach to mental health and wellbeing for all New Yorkers. Approximately 93% of ThriveNYC initiatives are up and running, serving people who need care throughout the five boroughs. That includes the launch of all of the initiatives designed specifically to reach children.
Through youth-specific initiatives, ThriveNYC has equipped every New York City public school with resources and services – including school-based mental health clinics, mental health consultants serving in schools, a social-emotional learning curriculum in Pre-K for All and Early Learn programs, and more – designed to recognize and treat mental illness in children.
“With ThriveNYC, we are planting seeds to make sure the next generation of New Yorkers are healthier, in mind and body,” said First Lady of NYC Chirlane McCray. “Reaching children early with these initiatives, within their communities, helps enrich the lives of both children and their families. Our young people have so much talent and potential; we don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks. Since we have the research, evidence-based studies and resources to grow healthier children, we should use them. There is much more to do, but I believe we are off to a good start.”
“It’s time to take a public health approach to the mental health crisis we face in New York City – that means we need to focus on building resiliency in our youngest New Yorkers as they weather emotional challenges. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity to make parents and caregivers across the City aware of ThriveNYC’s supports and resources that connect young people to services in the places where they live, play and learn, enabling them to thrive,” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives.
Data collected to publish the ThriveNYC Mental Health Roadmap indicates that 27% of public high school students report feeling sad or hopeless and that 8% of public high school students report attempting suicide. Furthermore, while signs of mental illness are most likely to appear in youth, it is often many years before a person struggling with mental illness receives an accurate diagnosis.
ThriveNYC has prioritized an approach that allows City government to “Act Early” to target mental health interventions and resources that help the youngest children in New York City build resiliency against mental stressors and connect young people who are struggling with mental illness to care.