Mental health care is experiencing a radical transformation.
Conversations about mental illness, which were once relegated to whispers, are happening openly, empowering people to reach out for help that can dramatically improve their lives.
Mental health care is now being infused into society, making it everyone’s responsibility. In the places where we live, work, and play, it is easier for people to access the care and support they need. Advances in technology are providing new and immediate ways to get help, all at the touch of a button.
As importantly, the way care is paid for is advancing, moving from a health care delivery system that rewards volume to one that rewards value; leading to improved outcomes and lives.
MHA-NYC is advancing as well. We are continuing to revolutionize the system to help bring emotional wellness within reach of all people. Through groundbreaking partnerships and initiatives using social networks, telephone, text, and chat services, internet-based treatments and other state-of-the-art practices, we are paving the way to truly providing anytime, anywhere care.
During the past year, we opened new avenues to care using innovative technologies, bolstered by sophisticated analytics and evaluation tools that confirm we are making a difference. The largest of these initiatives was LifeNet’s evolution into the next generation contact center, NYC Well, the City’s ground-breaking call, text, and chat mental health helpline. A cornerstone of First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray’s ThriveNYC initiative, NYC Well fielded 50% more contacts from New Yorkers reaching out for help during its first six months than anyone had anticipated. And the number of contacts are still increasing.
We also advanced our educational initiatives, working with individuals, families, providers, and businesses to ensure people from all walks of life have the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to understand and manage their emotional health. We were successful in raising our already well respected advocacy voice, working relentlessly to preserve the widespread mental health supports that are imperiled by the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
Additionally, we were proud to be a part of advancing the conversation around mental health with the release of Def Jam artist Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” song, named after the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. A watershed moment for mental health and suicide prevention in America, this event led to a more than 25% increase in calls to the Lifeline.
Finally, thanks to careful planning by the Board and management, MHA had two successful leadership transitions this past year. As the new President & CEO and Board Chair, we are strategically positioning MHA-NYC to be at the forefront of the future of mental health care. Guided by an aggressive but achievable strategic plan, we are led by a talented, engaged, and growing staff and Board, have a new enthusiastic young leaders council, Minds Ahead, and are as strong financially as we have ever been.
Our commitment to help all people achieve emotional wellbeing is possible. With your continued support and generosity, MHA-NYC can make it a reality.