Keeping Thrive Alive

The Story

Mayor de Blasio put his wife Chirlane McCray in charge of ThriveNYC, his major mental health initiative. Four years later, the program has had little demonstrable success, and its goals remain hazy. Total spending on ThriveNYC is approaching $1 billion, and it’s not just the mayor’s critics wondering where all this money is going.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Metrics: The metrics for evaluating ThriveNYC’s success are vague, including tracking cultural attitudes about stigma. Read more.

  2. Focus: ThriveNYC was designed to address the noncritical mental health problems of everyday New Yorkers—but the city’s real crisis is people with serious mental illness. Read more.

  3. Purpose: Only a tiny portion of the ThriveNYC budget goes toward treating the seriously mentally ill despite increases in homeless mentally ill every year since the program has been in place. Read more.

“With a $250 million budget, I should already be sick of ThriveNYC. I have not seen anything.”

Councilman Chaim Deutsch

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Let’s Stop Being Nutty About the Mentally Ill By E. Fuller Torrey (Summer 1997)

“We emptied out our psychiatric hospitals with dismal results for their patients and for the quality of life in our cities. Here are some sane prescriptions for repairing the damage.”

And in other news...

“The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said 121 cases have been identified since October, up 31 from last week. It is the worst measles outbreak in New York City since 1991.”