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Free telehealth therapy service for teens launches in NYC: ‘We’re here for them’  

The New York Daily News - 11/15/2023

New York City is launching a free telehealth therapy service for teens in the five boroughs — following through on a pledge to expand mental health access, Mayor Adams announced Wednesday.

Teens between the ages of 13 and 17 are able to sign up for “TeenSpace,” a service in partnership with Talkspace that gives young people access to a licensed talk therapist through phone, video and text.

The program, to cost $26 million over the next three years, comes as mental health access has become a flash point for Americans following the pandemic.

“Our young people shouldn’t ever feel alone,” Adams said in a statement. “We’re here for them, and together I know we’ll build a healthier, stronger city together.”

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29% of high school students in 2021 reported experiencing poor mental health.

In the past decade, the rate of suicide ideation among young people increased, according to the city’s statistics, which show 9.2% of students reported attempting it in 2021.

“There are few issues more important than the health of our children, and study after study has reinforced what we have been seeing — the mental health of our young people is on a clear downward trajectory,” said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the city’s health commissioner.

“‘TeenSpace’ will provide our city’s teens with a tangible resource to support their mental health and well-being and reduce barriers to accessing care — helping teens take greater control of their mental journey on their own terms.”

Teens can sign up now.

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