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August 25, 2019

NYC Council will put Chirlane McCray’s ThriveNYC mental health program under a spotlight

March 14, 2019
First Lady Chirlane McCray host a Community Conversation on mental health and substance misuse at the Queens Central Library on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. (Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)

The City Council will gently grill Mayor de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray on the pricey and troubled mental health program she oversees.

“The first lady would be welcome because we want to work with her and collaborate with her on how to help people who are struggling with mental illness and mental health problems,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said.


The Council will focus on Thrive during a mental health budget hearing scheduled for March 26. The program has faced scrutiny for its hefty $850 million budget, and critics have questions its results and whether it serves the most severely mentally ill.

Johnson said that population are his main concern.

“I want to make sure that those folks, if we’re upsetting such a huge amount of money, that those folks are going to get the level of care that they need,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he wasn’t sure who would testify but that he’d be happy to hear from McCray herself.

”I’m really glad that she’s taking this on, but at the same time, just like anything else, it has to be through the budget process. We have to look at the money, we have to make sure it’s being spent efficiently and effectively, so we’re going to ask those questions,” Johnson said.

De Blasio spokeswoman Marcy Miranda said the hearing was expected.

“The hearing was expected and is more than welcomed by the administration. We have a powerful story to tell about the need for mental health care in our city and how ThriveNYC is helping New Yorkers in a way city government has never before,” she said.

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