ThriveNYC is an innovative mental health roadmap—a population-wide response adopted by New York City in January 2015—with the goal to not only reduce the toll of mental illness, but also promote mental health and protect New Yorkers’ resilience, self-esteem, family strength, and joy. ThriveNYC was born out of the mental health crisis facing America’s largest city—at least one in five New Yorkers is likely to experience a mental health disorder in any given year. New York City’s public school system is America’s largest with 1.1 million students and almost 135,000 teachers, staff, and administrators. Research finds that 73,000 New York public high school students report feeling sad or hopeless each month, and eight percent of New York public high school students report attempting suicide.
The ThriveNYC roadmap recognizes that schools are in an ideal position for prevention and early intervention, engaging teachers as the eyes and ears of mental health professionals. Following a multi-year pilot that demonstrated educators’ acceptance of Kognito’s simulation approach and confirmed the effectiveness of the simulations, Kognito’s At-Risk for PK-12 suite is today being deployed district-wide as a universal prevention strategy intended for use by the largest number of individuals in the system.