Wednesday, December 22, 2021



 Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed Intro. 2442-A, codifying the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health into the City Charter and establishing the Office as a permanent part of City government. Built on the strong foundation of ThriveNYC, the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health coordinates an all-government approach to mental health and works with city government agencies and over 200 community-based organizations to close gaps in mental health care through innovation. The signing of Intro. 2442-A follows an executive order establishing The Mayor's Office of Community Mental Health on May 5, 2021.

“In New York City, we’ve established mental healthcare as a right for all,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health will ensure that New Yorkers can get support at every stage of life and every level of need for decades to come.” 


“Today marks a significant milestone in our nearly eight year journey to make mental health and substance use services as accessible in our communities as physical health care, and to lessen the stigma. There is a solid path forward to continuing this work—lives will be transformed and lives will be saved because the Office of Community Mental Health has been signed into law,” said First Lady Of New York City Chirlane McCray. “The pandemic has heightened the need for even more programs, more education and training, and more integrated health care. With the OCMH, all New Yorkers—no matter their struggles or backgrounds—will continue to live in a city that prioritizes their mental well being and makes services accessible where they live. Thank you to the City Council members, faith leaders, community leaders and people inside and outside of government for all the time and hard work they have put into this effort.”

Intro. 2442-A charges the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health with the following powers and duties, all of which are currently performed by the Office: 

  • Reduce substance misuse and promote access to services for substance use disorder;
  • Promote access to treatment for New Yorkers with mental health needs;
  • Promote equity in access to treatment;
  • Reduce any racial and ethnic disparity in reported mental health emergencies in the city;
  • Reduce the incidence of mental health emergencies occurring in the city and address individual’s mental health needs before they become crises;
  • Develop and support the implementation of strategies to close gaps in mental health care;  
  • Develop interagency policies and practices to promote mental health; 
  • Decrease any barriers to mental health care that may prevent access among groups identified as being under-served; and perform any other relevant duties as the mayor may assign.  
  • Ensure interagency coordination with DOHMH and any other City offices or agencies. 
  • Establish a Mental Health Council to advise the Office on issues relating to mental health and mental health care and facilitate coordination and cooperation among city agencies.  
  • Report annually to the Mayor and Speaker of the Council, and post to the Office’s website, a report identifying critical gaps in mental health care that are preventing New Yorkers with mental health needs from accessing and staying connected to care.   

“For the first time, a high-level commitment to mental health and the office needed to fulfill it will be enshrined into our City’s law,” said Susan Herman, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health. “This decision is a fitting bookend to the vision first articulated by Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray in 2016—to take an all-government approach to ensure that all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable, have access to the mental health support they need. New York City is now delivering more mental health services, in more places and in more ways than ever before, and today’s milestone guarantees that even more New Yorkers will have access to care in years to come.” 

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