By Victoria Merlino
New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray announced the creation of the Office of ThriveNYC on Thursday, the next step in her signature, multimillion-dollar mental health initiative of the same name.
Shortly after making the announcement, McCray visited the Queens Family Justice Center to celebrate the second anniversary of the agency’s mental health services. The Family Justice Center is one many mental health programs ThriveNYC has funded.
“For the last three years, ThriveNYC has worked to make transformative, long lasting changes to the way we deliver mental health services across our city,” McCray said in a statement.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Susan Herman will head the office and Dr. Gary Belkin, executive deputy commissioner for health-mental hygiene in the the Health Department, will join the office as the chief of policy and strategy.
“I’m proud of the work we have done so far, and look forward to working more closely with Susan and Gary as we build out the Office of ThriveNYC to ensure this initiative supports New Yorkers with all levels of mental health needs long after this administration,” McCray said.
ThriveNYC is an $850 million initiative that encompasses a wide range of programs designed to combat a “public health crisis when it comes to mental health,” according to a statement announcing the initiative in 2015.
One in five adult New Yorkers are likely to experience a mental health disorder in any given year, according to statistics from ThriveNYC.
In addition to supporting existing mental health initiatives, ThriveNYC has contribute several new programs, including the NYC Mental Health Corps, free eight-hour mental health first aid training for all New Yorkers and mental health services at Family Justice Centers across the city.