De Blasio to create mental health council as part of ThriveNYC plan
* Originally on POLITICO by Dan Goldberg | Mar. 31, 2016
Mayor Bill de Blasio will today sign an executive order establishing the Mental Health Council, which will coordinate efforts to confront mental health challenges across several agencies.
The council will be led by Deputy Mayor Richard Buery and First Lady Chirlane McCray, whose ThriveNYC plan has become the focal point of the administration’s efforts to raise the level awareness of mental health problems, reduce their stigma and, ultimately, make it easier for New Yorkers to find and receive city services.
The rest of the council, which serves as an advisory group to the mayor, will be made up of 20 members from different city agencies.
The administration has promised to spend $850 million over the next four years on 54 programs, 23 of which are new. These programs will involve the work of many departments and the council is meant to help cut through bureaucracy.
“Mental health influences how ably we perform in every part of life — parenting, relationships, school or work, recreation, self care and all other parts of life. That’s why we need every agency’s participation in city government to help change the culture around mental health,” McCray said in a statement. “Creating a permanent interagency Mental Health Council will ensure the long term collaboration needed to improve mental wellness in our city.”
The council is also tasked with recommending legislation and will report publicly on the progress of the plan. ThriveNYC, the name given to McCray’s mental health roadmap, calls for the council to “ensure that the city is effectively implementing these initiatives, especially those that involve multiple agencies, by tracking their progress and engaging in collaborative problem solving.”
It also requires the council within 150 days of the plan’s release — by the end of April — develop a set of specific agency goals, larger objectives the council will pursue together, and a proposed federal and state legislative agenda to support the roadmap goals.