Free Mental Health Support Created for NYC Teens

Free Mental Health Support Created for NYC Teens

Since November the NYC Teenspace program has provided free therapy for thousands of New York City teenagers. Learn how a teen in your life might benefit. 

Tragically, many teens today are not okay—42% of high school students reported feeling very sad or hopeless and 22% seriously considered attempting suicide, according to CDC data. In a survey of Talkspace providers who work with teens, 63% report that they believe the mental health of high schoolers has gotten worse over the past two years.

If you’re a parent or guardian concerned about your teen’s mental health, or who simply wants to give your teen the tools to prevent mental health challenges, we have good news: New York City teenagers 13-17 can receive free therapy through NYC Teenspace. You might have questions!  Here are some answers:

What is NYC Teenspace?

NYC Teenspace is a program of the NYC Health Department powered by Talkspace, to provide free virtual therapy to any teen 13-17, regardless of income or where they attend school. 

To sign up, teens simply enter their age and NYC address then answer a few questions about how they’re feeling. They’ll be paired with a New York-licensed therapist for one-on-one support through unlimited messaging therapy and one live virtual session (through video, audio, or live chat) per month.

What is virtual therapy?

Virtual therapy includes asynchronous aka “messaging” therapy, in which the teen sends their therapist text, voice, or video messages about what they’re going through or what’s on their mind, and their therapist replies with questions or words of support. Many teens really like messaging therapy because it allows them to express their feelings in the moment, from their phones or computers. NYC Teenspace virtual therapy also includes scheduled monthly live sessions, which take place over video, audio, or live chat, depending on the teen’s preference.

Does virtual therapy work?

Yes! In a published study on messaging therapy, 70% of participants experienced significant improvement in symptoms of depression or anxiety within 12 weeks, and 50% saw their symptoms resolve entirely. In another study, 80% of participants reported that virtual therapy was as effective or more so than traditional face-to-face therapy.

How should you talk to your teen about NYC Teenspace?

You might tell them that working with a therapist through NYC Teenspace will give them a private place to vent about whatever they’re going through, and get support for things like school stress, friend drama, relationships, grief and more. Tell them they can communicate with their NYC Teenspace therapist as much or as little as they want. Their therapist will listen, provide perspective and suggest coping strategies, without judgment. 

Learn more and sign up for NYC Teenspace today.