NYC launches free online therapy for teens
New York City teens now have access to free online therapy through a city program that launched Wednesday, officials said.
City teens, ages 13-17, can text, call, or video chat with licensed therapists through the online platform Talkspace without providing payment, insurance information, or referrals, officials said.
The teen telehealth initiative, which Mayor Eric Adams has billed as the largest of its kind in the country, was months in the making. The idea was first announced in March as part of the city’s blueprint for addressing a surge in mental health challenges since the pandemic started.
Among the sobering statistics officials pointed to: The share of city students who reported suicidal ideation jumped to nearly 16% from about 12% over the past decade. About 9% of city high school students reported they attempted suicide during 2021, according to a Health Department survey.
“There’s something that has happened to the COVID babies and the COVID children that we are not going to ignore,” Adams said at a press conference Wednesday announcing the launch of the program.
“Our young people are on their telephone, they use the internet, they use social media,” he continued. “We have to really find ways of turning that device into a positive instead of trying to push back on the natural flow of how young people utilize their social media platforms.”
CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education.
For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train:
TEACHERS: General and Special Ed Masters (Early Childhood or Childhood), ONLINE Special Ed / Professional Certification Masters (pre k – 12), TESOL Masters, Special Ed license extension courses, Bilingual license extension courses, TESOL license extension courses, Early Childhood license extension courses
— in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk.
CITE PD and Parent Workshops: CITE offers CTLE-approved in-school or online professional development and parent workshops tailored to your school’s needs and your vision. We can work remotely with your staff and parents. Languages available: Spanish, Mandarin, Greek, Italian, English. Info: citepd.com