Council member works to help community access mental health services

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Getting access to mental health services can seem like an overwhelming process, and one city leader is working to make it a bit easier for people to get the help they need.

Council Member Ritchie Torres is proposing that the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene create a complete and comprehensive list of all the free mental and behavioral health services offered to New Yorkers.

Torres is calling it the 'comprehensive health services list.' Mental health agencies would have access to that list and would be trained in how and when to make referrals to get people help.

It would also include information on free substance abuse services. Torres says many people just aren't aware of the free help available to them, and this is one way to expand access.

"Mental health in NYC is so widespread that it affects 1 in 5 New Yorkers," said Torres.

He says he hopes to see the bill go into effect by mid-2020.

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