Amid pandemic mental health helpline NYC Well responds to over million calls

The Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced that NYC Well, the City’s free helpline for mental health and substance use services, has responded to more than one million calls, texts, and chats from people seeking mental health support since launching in October 2016. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the service has seen significant usage. NYC Well responded to 57 percent more calls, texts, and chats between September 1 and October 31, 2020 than during the same period in 2019.

To mark this milestone accomplishment, ThriveNYC, the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity and DOHMH released the results of an independent evaluation finding that NYC Well is increasing access to behavioral health support and reaching a diverse range of New Yorkers, with significantly improved mental health symptoms observed among those served. Conducted by Abt Associates, the evaluation found that nearly 20 percent of surveyed NYC Well users reported that if they had not contacted NYC Well, they would not have spoken to anyone about their mental health needs. 

“This report shows that NYC Well is a lifeline for New Yorkers, especially in communities of color, where too many barriers have prevented individuals and families from receiving care and support when they need it most,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Now, more than ever, one of the biggest challenges to accessing appropriate mental health services is knowing where to turn, and with NYC Well those connections are being made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”  

“This evaluation tells us they’ve gotten high quality service – a key to ensuring that all New Yorkers can access mental health support where, when and how they need it,” said Susan Herman, Director of the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC

Any New Yorker can get immediate mental health support by calling 1-888-NYC-Well, texting “WELL” to 65173, or visiting The service, a signature ThriveNYC initiative, is free, confidential, accessible in over 200 languages, and available 24/7 regardless of insurance or immigration status. 

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