On July 27 Wellesley Institute and CAMH hosted a conversation about working together to foster mental health and well-being in the city toward designing a city where all Torontonians can thrive.
Our guest speaker was Dr. Gary Belkin from ThriveNYC, an initiative that led the way for a bigger conversation about mental health as a public health service in New York City.
ThriveNYC is a roadmap designed to begin changing the way people think about mental health and the way city government and its many partners deliver services. With 54 initiatives backed by an $850 million investment over four years, it is the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or state in the U.S.
In the first year, nearly 80% of the 54 initiatives under the umbrella of ThriveNYC are up and running and serving New Yorkers. The initiatives are organized into six core principles that ThriveNYC seeks to advance, which include: change the culture, act early, close treatment gaps, partner with communities, use data better, and strengthen government’s ability to lead.
About Dr. Gary Belkin
Dr. Belkin is the Executive Deputy Commissioner of Mental Hygiene in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Division of Mental Hygiene was instrumental in creating the framework for ThriveNYC and changing the conversation about mental health as a public health necessity. Before DOHMH, Dr. Belkin was the Medical Director for Behavioral Health in the Health and Hospitals Corporation of the City of New York, which operates 11 public hospitals in New York City. Dr. Belkin has served as Chief of Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital and has led large delivery systems and policy development in urban health settings through advancing innovative approaches to public mental health. He was Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, and founding Director of the NYU Program in Global Mental Health, which was developed to advance innovative implementation and policy approaches to scale and improve population mental health strategies.