New York City Department of Health and Mental Health launches 988 Campaign


The new multi-media campaign highlights the free mental health resource as city transitions from NYC Well to 988

 Our Bureau

New York City, NY

This World Mental Health Day, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced a new campaign to raise awareness of 988, the national mental health hotline launched last year. The month-long campaign will include a televised PSA (Public service Announcement ) featuring everyday New Yorkers and the Health Commissioner, as well as advertisements online, and on radio, television, and in outdoor public settings. 

“988 should be the go-to resource for any New Yorker seeking mental health support for themselves, someone they love or know, or someone they see in crisis,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Over time, 988 will become as routine to call for New Yorkers as 911, and New York City will set an example for the nation in how to successfully implement the federal mental health crisis support hotline. We’re grateful to President Biden for the investments already made over the last year since 988 launched. Our city is healthier when we center mental health and have the support we need, when we need it. I urge everyone with mental health needs, pressing or long-term, severe or even less worrying, to dial these three digits 9-8-8. New York City will help you get support.”  

New York City maintained the NYC Well call-in number for one year to ease the transition to the federal, easy-to-remember number – 988. Callers from non-New York City area codes can request to be transferred to local resources.

“The city remains committed to ensuring that New Yorkers have easy access to mental health support at every level”, said Eva Wong, Executive Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health. “988, just as NYC Well before it, will serve as a lifeline for those in need, offering immediate support and hope in moments of despair.”

According to the release, New Yorkers will continue to receive the same mental health support provided by NYC Well when they call 988. New Yorkers experiencing mental health crisis, looking for emotional support, information or referral to mental health services can call or text 988 or chat at People looking to speak with a certified peer specialist should request “peer support” when they are connected to a counselor. Providers making referrals to Mobile Crisis Teams for children and adults can continue to select the Mobile Crisis Team Referrals option on the “For Providers tab” at

New York City has become a national paradigm in 988 implementation, building off earlier crisis response investments and the city’s successful history developing NYC Well. The campaign comes as New York City has been scaling up mental health resources in all five boroughs. In March 2023, the Adams administration and the New York City Health Department released Care, Community, Action: A Mental Health Plan for New York City, which recognized the importance of improving access to care.

Since the launch of the report, the city has:

  • Brought mindful breathing practices to all New York city public schools.
  • Held the first social media summit that brought together leaders to consider the impacts of unregulated social media on New York City’s young people.
  • Released a Commissioner’s Advisory that outlines actions New Yorkers can and should take to help prevent overdose deaths.
  • Released guidelines for operating overdose prevention center (OPC) services in NYC. These standards promote high-quality services that are responsive to community needs.
  • Unveiled the city’s first public health vending machine.
  • Began the procurement process to expand capacity to serve New Yorkers in clubhouse, which supports people experiencing serious mental illness by helping build social connections, get resources and find a supportive community.

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