The Health Department released a public service announcement featuring former New York Knick Metta World Peace to help reduce the stigma about mental health and encourage teens and young adults to speak up about their problems. The public service announcement, called "Open Up, Be Heard" was promoted on social media and featured on the Health Department’s NYC Teen page. The spot encourages young people to turn to a trusted adult for help and directs them to free resources available online.
According to the new 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 27% of New York City public high school students reported that they felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks sometime in the past 12 months. Also, in the past 12 months, fifteen percent of public high school students reported doing something to purposely hurt themselves without wanting to die, such as cutting or burning themselves, and eight percent of New York City public high school students reported attempting suicide.
The Health Department encourages teens, healthcare providers, educators and caring adults supporting teens to visit the online site NYC Teen. Launched by the Department in 2011, NYC Teen is an online gateway for information, resources, and help on health and mental health related issues. Teens can view digital story blogs about young people who speak openly about their experiences and how they got help, as well as view fact sheets and take quizzes to raise their awareness about health and mental health issues.
Community providers can download the NYC Teen Talk Kit, a free resource offering print and digital materials that can be used to promote and foster mental health awareness. The kit is also available by calling 311 if you live in one of the 5 New York City burroughs.