March 7, 2017
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – New York City is expanding WELL, the free and confidential service that connects New Yorkers to mental health, crisis counseling and substance misuse services.
Since its inception in the fall of 2016, NYC WELL has seen a significant increase in usage, from an average of 326 contacts a day in August 2016 to an average of 753 contacts a day last week.
“No New Yorker should be left on hold when it comes to their care, or the care of a loved one,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “We launched NYC WELL in October to make sure that any New Yorker struggling with their mental health or substance misuse would not also have to struggle to find help. The number of people calling NYC WELL reflects the need people have for a connection to mental health care. In the fall of 2016, there was an average of 326 contacts with New Yorkers per day, and as of last week that number is over 750. The data also indicated the need to do more to keep up with the demand. That is why we are expanding our annual counseling capacity by nearly 50 percent.”
In response to the great demand, the program has expanded its current capacity to handle 200,000 calls, texts and chats a year to 290,000 calls, text and chats a year. A cornerstone of ThriveNYC, NYC WELL continues to be free and confidential, available 24/7 and accessible in more than 200 languages.
“By making it easier than ever before to reach out for help, NYC Well is connecting more New Yorkers to care, including those who are in need of treatment but haven’t been able to access it until now,” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives who oversees the implementation of ThriveNYC. “As a central service of ThriveNYC, it is critical that we continue to make NYC Well available to more New Yorkers. Today’s expansion allows us to do just that.”
New Yorkers can access NYC WELL by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL, texting WELL to 65173, or online chat by going to nyc.gov/nycwell.