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A Letter from the Chairman & CEO

Dear Friends,

This year’s annual report theme “Wellness Within Reach” speaks to our core belief that with the right care and support, everyone can achieve emotional wellness.

Dedicated to the mission of promoting mental health and emotional well-being, we are leaders, educators, advocates, and innovators in every aspect of mental health, working to raise public awareness, to make communities stronger across the country, and to offer support everywhere and anywhere people are struggling.

It has been a year filled with the achievement of major milestones for MHA-NYC and the people we serve. Our hotlines responded to a record-breaking 1.3 millions callers in emotional crisis from across the nation. We added chat and text services to expand access to behavioral health care for people, how, when, and where they want it, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And while record numbers of individuals and family members reached out for help through our innovative technology-assisted programs, you will read about the thousands more who were helped through the formation of new strategic partnerships with researchers, public and private health care systems, industry, government, and specialty population coalitions, such as and veterans.

The support of our partners and the passion of our entire staff and Board of Directors propel the growth of MHA-NYC. That growth in 2014 is reflected in our annual budget, which exceeded $25 million, and a growing workforce of 275 talented multi-lingual, multi-cultural staff.

You will also read about another major milestone in 2014. MHA-NYC’s 2014 Annual Gala, “Working for Wellness and Beyond”, raised a record breaking $1.1 million in support of veterans who are facing one of their toughest challenges off the battle field: making the transition is one of the most pressing mental health issues facing communites across the nation, and is why MHA-NYC not only made it the theme of our prestigious Gala—it made it the focus of new programming for those who have given so much of themselves in service of us all.

In the following pages you will see the many ways that MHA-NYC is saving lives and helping people. Whether it’s in programs for adolescents and young adults, the workplace, or in the community, we are strengthening individuals by increasing resilience, teaching life coping skills, and strengthening communites by making it easier to get help.

As the health and behavioral health care fields continue to change dramatically, MHA-NYC remains steadfast in its mission and in its commitment to be at the forefront of promoting emotional wellbeing for all. With your support and generosity, we believe that now more than ever before—wellness is within everyone’s reach. Will you stand with us as we continue working toward this goal in 2015, and beyond?


Calls to the
National Suicide
Prevention Lifeline
Calls to
Veterans Crisis Line
in 2014
Calls to Lifenet
in 2014
Chats to
the Lifeline
Chats to the
Crisis Line
Chats to
Lifeline after the
tragic death of
Robin Williams



Improving the mental
health of veterans and
their families

Coping with the invisible wounds of war is the new front line for hundreds of thousands of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Sleepless, on high alert, living in fear or simply adjusting to life at home with their families, countless veterans are in need of behavioral health services and support. With the Veterans Administration straining to meet demand and many veterans’ preference for receiving care in the community, MHA-NYC recognized the need for the NYC community to be better prepared to respond to the challenges of veterans with behavioral health needs.

The Veterans’ Mental Health Coalition of New York City (VMHC), co-founded by MHA-NYC and NAMI-NYC Metro in 2009, is a leading voice in promoting the mental health and well-being of veterans and their families. With a diverse cross section of key stakeholders, the VMHC is disseminating information, resources and best practices as well as fostering needed practice and policy changes to improve care and support for veterans with behavioral health needs and their family members.

When President Obama issued an Executive Order directing all 152 VA medical centers nationwide to host Community Mental Health Summits, the Manhattan VA, turned to the VMHC to co-sponsor the Summit. In partnership with VA staff, NAMI-Metro, and the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, MHA-Staff co-facilitated sessions attended by over 130 individuals and service provider organizations to identify gaps and provide recommendations in key areas of need, including veterans in crisis, veterans returning to employment, and the needs of women veterans.


Supporting student
veterans in transition

Over the next five years, it is estimated that more than one million veterans will return to the workforce or college. For many veterans, especially students, the return home will feel as foreign as the countries they fought in. Adjustment to civilian life, recovery from injuries, both visible and invisible, and the challenges navigating the complex system of supports for veterans is daunting. However, it is the chasm between understanding life in a combat zone and life less directly touched by war that creates a sense of isolation for veterans.

To ease the transition for service members to students on campus, MHA-NYC launched Stories We Carry, a unique project that brings veterans of all ages and civilians together on college campuses in the tri-state area to openly share their stories, perceptions, and experiences about the impact of war on their lives. In a safe space, free of judgment, Stories We Carry addresses fundamental gaps in awareness and makes storytelling a powerful agent for social change.

With a grant from The New York Community Trust, MHA-NYC is bringing Stories We Carry to eight universities in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester Counties. In 2015, with support from the MetLife Foundation, MHA-NYC will partner with EnGarde Productions and their national tour of the theatrical performance, Basetrack, which will serve as the catalyst for Stories We Carry in communities across the country. Through Stories We Carry, veterans and civilians are collectively building a shared sense of responsibility, service, and support.


Helping veterans in crisis across the country

In partnership with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), MHA-NYC administers the Veterans’ Crisis Line, a service that connects veterans in need, as well as their families and friends, to a live support counselor through a confidential hotline, online chat, and text messaging service. Since its launch, the Veterans’ Crisis Line has provided life-saving assistance to more than 1.5 million veterans and members of the armed services.



Promoting emotional
wellness on and off the

As Director of Transition and Clinical Services in the NFL’s Player Engagement Department, Dwight Hollier is on a mission to prepare new players for success in life after football, as well as support former players during the challenging times they face in retirement. Launched by MHA-NYC in 2012, The NFL Life Line, a 24/7/365 independent and confidential helpline and online chat service for players, former players, team/league staff and their families in crisis, is a vital part of Hollier’s strategy to achieve that mission. For Hollier, whose own transition out of the league precipitated an identity crisis for him, the mission is a personal crusade. Having identified so closely with the game, he wasn’t sure who he was without it. Despite new opportunities awaiting him in his retirement Hollier missed football, felt worthless without it, and was distraught that he was no longer able to play ball. Says Hollier, “Seeking counseling and assistance at that time was a key part of my finding success after football. It’s important that we provide those resources and support systems for all players before, during, and after their transition.”

In our continuing effort to help former players and their families make a healthy transition, Ciara Dockery PhD, joined MHA-NYC this year as Outreach and Training Manager for the NFL Life Line. She has a unique personal perspective that helps her understand the importance of helping players at the end of their careers. Her father is John Dockery, a former New York Jets defensive back who won a Super Bowl in 1969. Dockery later played for the Pittsburg Steelers and enjoyed a long career as a sportscaster for NBC and CBS. He recounted his own transition out of the league as being, “gut-wrenching in every way.”

In a story that comes full circle, Ciara Dockery is putting her training as a clinical psychologist to work as she manages the NFL Life Line and assists transition coaches and others to help former players achieve emotional wellness as they transition out of the game.


Saving lives every day

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) has set a high bar for crisis services around the country. When Dr. John Draper, Director of NSPL and Executive Vice President of MHA-NYC’s subsidiary Link2Health Solutions, led the launch of MHA-NYC’s 24/7 LifeNet service in 1996, LifeNet became one of the first crisis centers in the country to forge relationships with local 911 emergency services and the hospital emergency departments to ensure that callers at highest risk of suicide were properly reached, assessed, and treated by emergency service systems.

Now, Dr. Draper continues to exert a leadership role in developing national standards for best practices in “chain-of-care” collaborations for crisis and emergency systems. As a result of the work of the Lifeline team, 911 and local crisis centers now have standard operating procedures for nationwide collaboration.

The new national standards developed by the Lifeline team in collaboration with the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) have helped to prevent unnecessary use of emergency services as well as ensure the safety of those in need of immediate intervention. By focusing on systems-wide transformation to ensure that callers in need of emergency services receive timely follow up, MHA-NYC, through its Link2Health Solutions subsidiary, is working to promote broad-scale community mental health and well-being.


Help when and where it’s needed

Always searching for ways to expand access to needed services, MHA-NYC embraced the growing importance of chat as a preferred mode of communication among younger users. In 2012, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) partnered with Facebook to offer Lifeline Crisis Chat. Since its launch, Lifeline has received more than 83,693 chats. In 2014 alone, crisis specialists responded to 53,660 chats.

According to Ashley Owen, MHA-NYC’s Program Coordinator for Lifeline Crisis Chat, “Lifeline Crisis Chat is available for anyone going through a hard time and needs to talk. Whether it is a big crisis or small one, chat specialists are here to listen and support you through whatever difficulties you may be having.” Owen works closely with NSPL’s Standards, Training and Practice Team, to make sure that the twenty-eight centers who answer the Lifeline Chats are running smoothly and using best practices to deliver online crisis services.



Delivering on the promise
of technology enabled
behavioral health care

As a frontrunner of innovation in mental health, MHA-NYC has emerged as a pioneer in delivering comprehensive internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ciCBT) with telephone, text, and chat supports. Programs like MHA-NYC’s newly launched iHelp: Sandy Stress Relief demonstrate the power of using technology to increase access to care.

Although it has been two years since Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the lives of New Yorkers, an estimated 700,000 New Yorkers are still experiencing distress as a result of the storm. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be among the most effective treatments for the most common disorders that arise after a disaster, including depression, insomnia, anxiety, and substance misuse.

With iHelp, barriers like the shortage of behavioral health professionals trained in CBT, long waitlists, high cost, and inconvenient hours no longer get in the way of getting needed care. Confidential, well researched, and effective treatment is available anytime, anywhere there is access to the internet. When combined with our partner, Cobalt Therapeutics’ best-in-class CBT software, MHA-NYC’s Here2Help Connect Crisis Contact Center offers Sandy survivors a comfortable referral process, real time monitoring of their progress, and the confidence that users will receive professional, high quality clinical support any time it is needed.


Providing call center
solutions to improve
behavioral health care

As a leader in crisis and call center referral service, MHA-NYC’s Here2Help Connect (H2H) is providing needed business solutions for providers and payers. When PSCH, Inc. one of New York City and Long Island’s largest behavioral health providers acquired two additional behavioral health organizations, they turned to MHA-NYC’s Here2Help Connect to provide a centralized access and referral service for the new enterprise.

H2H is helping create a more seamless system of care to the 8,500 individuals served by PSCH. Our highly skilled counselors not only screen callers, conduct assessments and provide interventions as necessary, but schedule appointments and make reminder calls to clients. To ensure patients get the support they need, whenever and wherever they are, H2H also provides high quality after-hours care to clients in crisis.

“Our partnership with MHA-NYC’s Here2Help Connect has certainly positioned us to provide easy access to our services, one of the major concerns in health care reform,” says CEO Alan Weinstock, PSCH, Inc.

Whether it is providing follow-up care to avoid hospital readmissions, after-hours crisis services, centralized access and referral service or helping to integrate behavioral health in primary care, MHA-NYC is harnessing the power of H2H’s technology to provide business solutions to help others modernize and improve access to care.



A place to thrive

Common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression most often start in adolescence and then peak in young adulthood. It is also the time when serious mental health disorders, including bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia are most likely to emerge. Despite the importance of early identification and intervention to produce the best outcomes, stigma, and the fear of being shunned by their classmates too often keeps young people from getting the help they need.

MHA-NYC’s Adolescent Skills Centers (ASCs) offers teens and young adults a place to belong and thrive. Here youth have a chance to explore professional interests, develop social and vocational skills, and pursue their education.

Manjanique, a student at the Adolescent Skills Center in the Bronx, is typical of the young people we welcome into the ASCs. She admits that even just a few months ago she would never have talked so openly about her own mental health concerns. Although she left high school early, she didn’t make the connection between her feelings of “painful shyness and anxiety” and the problems she was having at school, or the difficulties of finding a job. When Manjanique heard about the ASC, she was doubtful, but, “When I heard that I could get my diploma, build my resume and work on my anxiety and shyness, I thought I would give school another chance.”

Now, twenty-one and close to getting her diploma, Manjanique is an active member of student government and has led several community service initiatives.

Like Manjanique, Aaron’s anxiety was beginning to affect his school work: “At my other schools, they couldn’t see beyond my struggles, they just saw a bad kid.” Surrounded by peers who share common life experiences and staff he trusts, Aaron says that, “At the ASC they see someone who wants to succeed. If more programs like this existed, I think a lot more people would be in school. Being here is like a second chance for us.” This semester, Aaron is auditioning for a role in a “Possibility Project” theater production.

The ASCs are helping youth and young adults like Manjanique and Aaron develop the skills they need to make a successful transition to adulthood.


Helping parents raise
emotionally healthy

As part of Project Launch, a federal early childhood initiative that is improving early care and education nationwide, Family Advocates from MHA-NYC’s Family Resource Centers in the South Bronx and Harlem lead Circle of Security classes that are helping parents raise emotionally healthy children. Jose Gomez, a father of three and foster father of seven, loved being a dad but found it hard at times. Jose is one of 220 parents across MHA-NYC’s five Family Resource Centers who has completed the eight-week Circle of Security training. “After Circle of Security, I learned that my children’s need for attention was actually about their need for an emotional connection, protection, and comfort. Personally, it has changed my life.”


Practical skills to enhance
emotional wellness

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour course that introduces people to risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns. The course builds on our knowledge that people are more likely to seek needed care when someone they know or who is close to them suggests it. By empowering participants to identify and provide one-on-one help to people who are in crisis, Mental Health First Aid is helping create a community of responsible and informed citizens. In 2014 alone, MHA-NYC staff have trained hundreds of people in MHFA or Youth MHFA. Participants have included individuals from the social and human services, health care, and early education.


A day in the life
of Rena Au

As the mother of a child with special needs, Rena Au knows first-hand the challenges that other parents in her community face seeking and getting help for children with emotional and behavioral needs. Rena is a Family Advocate at the Southern Manhattan Family Resource Center, one of five Family Resource Centers run by MHA-NYC. Rena spends her days providing support to other Chinese-American families whose struggle with the stigma of mental illness that too often prevents them from seeking the help that their children need. Whether at a home visit, meeting with a family in the office, or accompanying a parent to the child’s school or appointment, Rena is an effective educator and a ready advocate for both the parents and children. In a single day, Rena does all of these things and more.

2014 GALA

Working for wellness
and beyond

This year’s gala paid tribute to the men and women of our armed forces and the companies who are leading the effort to employ and support them upon their return. ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff, whose own story of recovery from a serious injury sustained while covering the war in Iraq is incredibly powerful, emceed. The evening’s events were dedicated to serving those who have given so much of themselves in service of us all.

Setting a fundraising record of 1.1 million dollars, over 500 people filled the ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City to recognize Gregory Fleming—President of Wealth Management and Investment Management at Morgan Stanley and a longtime advocate for veterans and their families—for the outstanding leadership and commitment that he and Morgan Stanley have made in hiring and mentoring veterans.

It was also our special privilege that night to honor Staff Sgt. Salvatore A. Giunta, the first living person since the Vietnam War to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, our country’s highest award for valor in action. Staff Sgt. Giunta, who earned his medal for bravery and heroism under siege in the Korengal Valley in 2007, spoke to the audience with humility and candor about a new mission: raising awareness across the country about veterans’ ongoing mental health needs. Presenting Staff Sgt. Giunta, with an award in recognition of his unwavering commitment to fellow veterans on and off the battlefield was Colonel Jack Jacobs, a Medal of Honor recipient himself, and Dinner Chair Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of New York Stock Exchange.

Employment is one of the cornerstones of emotional well-being for veterans. That’s why we dedicated our 2014 gala to recognizing the companies who are helping veterans get back to work. We are proud to stand by the companies and corporate leaders who are working for the wellness of America’s veterans, and beyond.

2014 GALA:



    $50,000 and Over

  • Altman Foundation
  • BlackRock, Inc.
  • Morgan Stanley
  • The New York Community Trust

    $20,000 and Over

  • Brookfield
  • CBRE
  • Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
  • EmblemHealth
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Harry Gordon
  • Jarvie Commonweal Service
  • Laurie Kayden Foundation
  • LPL Financial
  • Alison & Duncan Niederauer
  • NYSE
  • Jane & Daniel Och
  • Marty & Dorothy Silverman Foundation
  • York Capital Management
  • Cynthia Zirinsky

    $10,000 and Over

  • Altschul Foundation
  • Autism Speaks
  • Avenue Capital Group
  • Bloomberg
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bristol-Meyers Squibb
  • Broadridge Financial Solutions
  • Capgemini Financial Services
  • Hilary M. Castillo
  • Ric Clark
  • Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.
  • Diana A. Gaines
  • Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Fisher Brothers
  • Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • Hitachi Data Systems
  • Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • Magellan Health, Inc.
  • Massey Knakal Realty Services
  • National Football League Foundation
  • New York Gracie Square Hospital
  • Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
  • Joseph F. Peyronnin, III
  • PNC Financial Services Group
  • Savills Studley
  • State Street Bank
  • United Federation of Teachers
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

    $5,000 and Over

  • BAHA Industries Corp. d/b/a Open
    Systems Technologies
  • Laurence Calcano
  • Robert M. Chang
  • Sheri & Kevin Danehy
  • Kevin Dunleavy
  • General Motors LLC
  • Hunter Roberts Construction Group
  • Johnson & Johnson Health Care
  • Jones Lang Lasalle Americas
  • Meyer Mintz, CPA, JD, LLM
  • Montefiore Medical Center
  • The Morty Frank Memorial Fund
  • Michael Nissan, Esq
  • Patriot Communications
  • Chrystie & Corbett Price
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Janet & John Robinson
  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP
  • The Sourcing Group
  • ThomasARTS
  • ValueOptions
  • Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • Wipro Limited

    $2,500 and Over

  • Jennifer Ashley
  • AT&T
  • Taylor Cable
  • Elizabeth & Charles Chasin
  • Andrew Cohen
  • Melissa & Scott Cutler
  • Amy DiSibio
  • R.R. Donnelley
  • Gary Greenspan
  • Desiree & John Merrell
  • Judith & Leonard Polisar, Esq
  • Tova Friedler Usdan & Ernest Rubenstein, Esq
  • Ellen & Alan Rutsky
  • Sherman & Gordon PC

    $1,000 and Over

  • Carol J. Antler
  • Ayni Brigade
  • Linda Bloch
  • Francoise & Bob Burn
  • Charles B. Wang Community Health Center
  • Tuhina De O’Connor
  • Dell
  • Elmhurst Hospital Center
  • Yvonne & Gerald Evelyn
  • Melissa & Gregory Fleming
  • Harriet Mauer & Michael B. Friedman
  • Gartland & Mellina Group
  • John Gernon
  • George Giannopoulos
  • Laurie & Stephen Girsky
  • John Glotzbach
  • Lynn D. Sherman & Henry J. Halperin
  • Michael Lesser, MD
  • Liz & Mark Liscio
  • Meridian Benefits Consulting
  • Beth & Kevin Mullaney
  • Robert Nash, Esq
  • Ostrolenk Faber, LLP
  • Sylvia Sclar-Friedman
  • Jill & Howard Sharfstein, Esq
  • State Street Bank
  • Trilogy Integrated Resources LLC


2012 *2013 2014
Government Contracts $24,402 $21,410 $20,586
Foundations, Corporate, Individual Contributions and Other 855 1168 1,088
Total Revenues 25,257 22,578 21,674
Program Services
H2H/Crisis Services 4,031 3,422 3,292
Public Education & Advocacy 581 496 939
Children & Family Services 5,697 5,138 4,687
Adult Services 3,565 3,343 3,187
Link2Health Solutions Inc. 7,800 6,910 6,679
Total Program Services 21,674 19,309 18,784
Management 3,293 2,870 2,316
Fundraising 90 250 218
Total Expenses 25,057 22,429 21,318
NET ASSETS 4,868 4,668 4,519

*Amount in thousands of dollars. Preliminary numbers subject to final audit.


    MHA-NYC Officers and Directors


    • Kevin J. Danehy

      Executive Vice-Chair

    • Joseph F. Peyronnin, III


    • Scott R. Cutler
    • Michael Nissan, Esq


    • Alan H. Rutsky


    • Robert P. Borsody, Esq


  • Carol J. Antler, LCSW
  • Jennifer Ashley, PhD
  • Frank Branchini
  • Samuel L. Brookfield
  • Lawrence Calcano
  • Hilary M. Castillo
  • Robert M. Chang
  • Richard B. Clark
  • Tuhina De O’Connor
  • Diana A. Gaines
  • Lynda Gardner
  • Alison Lewis
  • Meyer Mintz, CPA, JD, LLM
  • Robert S. Nash, Esq
  • Corbett Price
  • John D. Robinson
  • Bruce J. Schwartz, MD
  • Howard F. Sharfstein, Esq
  • Lynn D. Sherman
  • William L. Southard
  • Tova D. Friedler Usdan, PhD
  • Cynthia Zirinsky

    Honorary Chair

  • Leonard M. Polisar, Esq

    Emeritus Directors

  • Robert Devine
  • Hon. George L. Jurow
  • Irving Ladimer, SJD
  • Harriet Parness, RN
  • Hon. Rose L. Rubin

    Executive Team

      President & CEO

    • Giselle Stolper, EdM

      Executive Vice President of MHA-NYC
      and Director of National Suicide
      Prevention Lifeline

    • John Draper, PhD

      Executive Vice President of Strategy
      and Business Development

    • Kathryn Salisbury, PhD

      Vice President of Integrated Policy
      and Program Services

    • Kimberly Williams, LMSW

      Vice President of Human Resources,
      Legal, Compliance and Risk

    • Susan Shanklin, Esq

      Director of Finance

    • William Adler

      Vice President for Crisis and
      Behavioral Health Technologies

    • Marshall Ellis

    Professional Advisory Committee


    • Bruce J. Schwartz, MD


    • Amy Dorin, LCSW

      Committee Members

    • Marcel Biberfeld, DSW
    • Jeffery Borenstein, MD
    • Carmen Collado, LCSW
    • Ernesto Ferran, Jr., MD
    • Rosa M. Gil, DSW
    • Mary Hanrahan, LCSW
    • Jennifer F. Havens, MD
    • Lorraine Henricks, MD
    • Andrew Kolodny, MD
    • Harold S. Koplewicz, MD
    • Helen G. Muhlbauer, MD
    • Jorge Petit, MD
    • Martha A. Sullivan, DSW
    • Manuel Trujillo, MD
    • Henrik Zakari, MD
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