Credit: Contributed

First Lady Chirlane McCray and city officials recently hosted the 2019 Cities Thrive Conference, a two-day convening of leaders from across the country focused on building a national movement for mental health reform.

Launched in 2016, Cities Thrive is a coalition of mayors, county officials, tribal leaders and allies who are pioneering innovative ways to address behavioral health challenges across the country. Members of the coalition gather every year to share best practices for creating change at the local level and to develop strategies for making mental health and substance misuse a top policy priority for the federal government.

This year’s conference features a series of keynotes, forums and panel discussions on topics including strengthening government’s ability to lead, expanding access to treatment, changing the culture around mental health, and acting early to prevent crisis.

Conference speakers included Mayor Bill de Blasio; First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan; Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phillip J. Thompson; Director of the Office of ThriveNYC Susan Herman; Mayor Scott Fadness of Fishers, Indiana; 19th Surgeon General of the U.S. Dr. Vivek Murthy; and NYC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Raul Perea-Henze.