As part of its $305 million plan to "change the culture" around mental illness, NYC now has its own round-the-clock mental health hotline called NYC Well. First Lady Chirlane McCray said, "No matter where you live or how much money you make, you can reach out to NYC Well with a call, text or chat. If you are a spouse worrying that drugs or alcohol are taking over your partner’s life; a parent concerned about changes in your teenager’s behavior; so stressed that you can’t work or so sad and lonely, you struggle to leave your home, NYC Well is here for you. The service is free, confidential and accessible in more than 200 languages, 365 days of the year and 24/7. Just like our city, it never sleeps."

NYC Well is part of the Thrive NYC initiative, which is addressing and destigmatizing mental illness. The issue is personal for Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family—de Blasio's father was an alcoholic and committed suicide; daughter Chiara has struggled with addiction and depression.

A press release explained, "New Yorkers feeling symptoms of anxiety, depression, or addiction should first seek help from friends, family, or a health care professional. However, there are many who do not have this option or don’t know where to turn. For those who need help, NYC Well is one point of entry to the City’s array of behavioral health services. It is free, confidential and available to anyone regardless of the language they speak, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long. New Yorkers can access NYC Well by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL, texting WELL to 65173, or online chat by going to Phone counseling is available in English, Spanish, or Chinese, with translation available in more than 200 languages. Text and chat are available in English, Spanish and Chinese."

Services, which are an expansion of the previous crisis line LifeNet, will include:

- Crisis Counseling and Suicide Prevention: Trained counselors will provide crisis and suicide prevention counseling. If someone is in danger of hurting themselves or others, the phone operator helps by counseling them and connects them to appropriate services, including EMS and other crisis intervention services.
- Referral to Behavioral Health Services: NYC Well will help New Yorkers connect to a mental health provider who takes their insurance, is in a convenient location and who speaks their language. NYC Well counselors can even stay on the line to help make the first appointment.
- Mobile Crisis Teams: When a New Yorker or a loved one can’t or won’t help themselves, NYC Well will assess whether to send a team of mental health professionals to meet the person in their home so they can be connected to care.
- Follow-up Services: NYC Well will offer all users the option for extra support, like receiving reminders for first appointments, contact while waiting for an appointment and follow-ups to make help users stay connected to care. Follow-up services were not offered through LifeNet.
- Short-term Counseling: NYC Well will offer brief counseling via phone, text, or chat if needed to provide stabilizing support until an appointment can be scheduled. This is also a new service.
- Peer Support: Certified Peer Specialists will provide support, crisis diversion, information, and referrals. Talking to someone who has been trained to use his or her own life experiences with mental health and/or substance abuse can help those in need. Peer Specialists will provide appropriate, compassionate, and effective support, as well as crisis diversion. Peer support was not available through LifeNet.

"This is a ground breaking program that addresses an important unmet need," Dr. Sandro Galea, Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, said in a statement. "We know that one of the biggest barriers to getting appropriate mental health treatment is the availability of readily available mental health services. NYC Well bridges that gap. It is a bold, innovative program in keeping with the tradition of excellence long embodied by the NYC Health Department."

The Post reports, "Calls will be recorded and maintained by the city for 'quality assurance purposes' and will be deleted after 90 days. People who hint at hurting themselves or others will trigger a call to 911. The program will cost the city $5.5 million in its first year and $4.5 million each following year. The state will contribute about $2 million each year as well. An additional $3 million in city money will go towards marketing the new initiative."

The NYC Well website has information about contacting the hotline as well as tips for "less stress" in under a minute.

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.