Bringing in partners to support youth mental health


The Mayor's Office of Community Mental Health brings together community organizations, City agencies, foundations, and businesses to support the mental health of children and young people.

Good ideas deserve a chance to grow. That's why we collaborate with organizations big and small to test out new ideas for reaching young people. Beyond the larger-scale programs we implement in partnership with City agencies, we have also partnered with organizations outside City government to develop new mental health training for hundreds of public school staff, reach Latinx youth in Inwood and Washington Heights through technology, and create mental health libraries at 10 NYCHA Cornerstone Centers. We’ve helped trusted nonprofits explore new ideas and helped them establish connections with City agency partners — all to support emerging ideas that improve our young people’s well-being.

Explore some of our recent youth mental health partnerships below. If you think these resources could benefit your organization — or to share your own ideas for collaboration — please email us here.


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Reading So Lit 

Bringing social-emotional learning tools to family shelters

Reach: Piloted in family shelters in summer 2021 for children aged 5-8
Partners: Department of Homeless Services, Barbershop Books

 

 

Reading So Lit uses books and pre-recorded read-aloud videos from Barbershop Books to support social-emotional development for children aged 5-8. The program creates opportunities for prevention and early intervention by enhancing how client-care coordinators in family shelters incorporate mental health in their engagement with children in their care.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

Pathways to Wellbeing: Write it Out

Promoting mental health through reading and writing

Reach: Staff trained in youth mental health in Beacon afterschool sites
Partner: Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)

Pathways to Wellbeing promotes mental health among children, youth and families who visit DYCD programs by offering trainings to staff and by introducing engaging, arts-based activities to foster reflection on mental health.

There are two components to Pathways to Wellbeing - a middle school component and a high school component. The middle school component, called Write it Out, is a creative writing program at Beacon afterschool sites for students in 5th–8th grade that will launch in fall 2021. The program encourages writing as a way to reinforce social-emotional skills.

HIGH SCHOOL 

Bring Change 2 Mind

Student-led clubs take action on mental health

Reach: 200+ students across 46 high schools
Partner: Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) Foundation
Bring Change to Mind logo

The Bring Change 2 Mind High School Program offers teens a platform to raise awareness around mental health and encourages youth to take a proactive approach to mental health and self-care. Today, BC2M clubs are in 46 schools across the five boroughs, serving over 200 students each year.

Student-led clubs typically meet weekly to engage in discussions, presentations, and activities surrounding mental health. They help change the negative perceptions surrounding mental health by increasing education and awareness, fostering student empowerment, and building mentoring opportunities. Participating students may also join virtual storytelling workshops and an annual student summit.

Let's Talk NYC

Connecting students to trained mental health allies

Reach: Teachers and school staff trained at over 100 schools
Partners: Ogilvy Health, The Jed Foundation, and the School Mental Health Program (DOE)

The Let’s Talk NYC: To Support Student Mental Health campaign ("Let’s Talk NYC") encourages students to share their mental health concerns and seek help from school staff who have been identified and trained as “mental health allies.”

Work in an NYC high school? Join hundreds of school staff who have already completed the Let's Talk NYC training and gain the skills to have conversations with student about mental health and connect them to mental health support. Register here.

Are you the caregiver of a young person? Check out our caregiver guide on how to have conversations with young people about mental health.

Pathways to Wellbeing: Cornerstone Community Centers

Promoting mental health through reading and writing

Reach: 450+ staff trained in youth mental health in Cornerstone Community Centers and Beacon afterschool sites
Partners: Department of Youth and Community Development, Penguin Books

Pathways to Wellbeing promotes mental health among children, youth and families who visit DYCD programs by offering trainings to staff and by introducing engaging, arts-based activities to foster reflection on mental health.

At Cornerstone Community Centers, Mental Health libraries donated by Penguin Random House make books and resources about youth mental health available at select
Cornerstone locations.


NYCx Co-Labs: Accessible Mental Health Challenge

Finding tech-based solutions to improve youth mental health

Reach: Latinx youth in Inwood and Washington Heights
Partners: Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, the Economic Development Corporation

Comic illustration of teenager by the Accessible Mental Health Challenge winner Me, Myself, & I

Accessible Mental Health Challenge winner Me, Myself, & I is creating a comic book to promote youth mental health

The Accessible Mental Health Challenge pilots solutions to create more accessible mental health support for Latinx youth in Inwood and Washington Heights. A part of the NYCx Co-Labs program, the challenge called for creative, tech-enabled solutions to advance any combination of the following outcomes:

  • Increase the mental health of Latinx youth (MH)
  • Improve teen resiliency to be able to cope with depression
  • Increase the amount of culturally relevant content tailored to Latinx youth to support mental health
  • Increase Latinx youth's comfort pursuing treatment for mental illness
  • Increase Latinx youth's confidence in using and seeking formal and informal MH services
  • Reduce stigmas associated with mental health and mental illness
  • Raise the level of community awareness of available formal and informal MH services

The two winners, NextStep HealthTech and Me Myself & I, each received $20,000 and the opportunity to pilot their solutions in Inwood and Washington Heights:

NextStep HealthTech creates digital health services that are designed for use with and without clinical supervision and features a user-friendly design conducive to both self-led and supported health management. Their focus is on providing positive health outcomes through client-centered solutions designed from evidence-based research, integrating leading-edge technologies within solutions to continuously provide superior product experiences. NextStep HealthTech is committed to designing around human-centered empathetic principles to ensure positive user outcomes.

Me Myself & I proposed a choose-your-adventure style comic book called “Heroes Next Door”, which focuses on the story of a Latinx superhero charged with saving the world while also working on the mental health challenges that come with being a hero. By creating a character that is viewed and grounded in ’strength’ to speak about the mental health challenges that Latinx youth face in their day to day lives, Me, Myself & I hopes to remove the stigma of weakness and normalize conversations about mental health in Latinx communities.