Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and The New York Public Library have joined forces in an innovative public health initiative centered on assisting New York City neighborhoods dealing with the mental health fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to hit low-income and Black and Latinx New Yorkers the hardest.
The post-COVID Community Mental Health Project, made possible through support from the Leon Levy Foundation, aims to increase public access to mental health information; educate communities on mental health risks, including addiction; engage residents in supporting each other’s wellbeing; and improve connections to behavioral health services.
“The expertise of Columbia Psychiatry when coupled with the well-earned community trust of NYPL creates a powerful collaboration that the Leon Levy Foundation is proud to support, helping to bring free mental health resources to the city’s most underserved communities,” said Shelby White, founding trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation.
To ensure the program reaches the city’s most vulnerable populations, NYPL and Columbia have partnered with the National Black Leadership Commission on Health (Black Health), a nonprofit that seeks to achieve health equity within the Black community. The organization will facilitate racially and ethnically diverse roundtable discussions to identify areas of behavioral health most relevant to the community.