THE BRONX - New York City first lady Chirlane McCray visited houses of worship across the city this weekend to spread awareness about mental health.
The pews were packed St. John Chrysostom Church on Sunday, as McCray delivered a personal message about how to recognize and treat mental illness and combat the stigma. McCray shared stories of her own parents' and daughter's battle with depression.
Her visit was part of the Weekend of Faith for Mental Health. The event aimed to engage 1,000 congregations to openly discuss mental health during their services.
McCray said clergy are often the first responders for mental distress, and said she wanted to empower them with training and toolkits for their congregations.
"They're leaders, real leaders, and they have tremendous reach, and we're going to reach I think a quarter of a million New Yorkers with our positive messages about mental wellness," said McCray.
The program is part of a $850 million mental health reform package called ThriveNYC.