Partnership with BetterHelp to Support 10 CBOs and Their Networks

(October 11, 2022 at 1pm)

QUEENS, NY – Recognizing the many intersectional crises facing Queens and their impacts on the wellness of our families, Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. announced today a groundbreaking $2 million partnership with therapy platform BetterHelp to bring free mental health services to Queens residents.

Announced at Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities’ Corona headquarters one day after World Mental Health Day on October 10, the partnership with BetterHelp — the nation’s leading virtual mental health therapy provider — will see up to $2 million worth of the organization’s services split among 10 different community-based organizations from across Queens.

Each CBO will receive $175,000 worth of services to make available across their networks, with the remaining $250,000 being distributed to constituents at the discretion of the Queens Borough President’s Office.

“The past few years have been extremely difficult for all of us in Queens, as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the crises around housing, an economic downturn, food insecurity, racial injustice and more. To all those struggling, you don’t have to struggle alone,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “Now, more than ever, we need to support one another. I couldn’t be prouder to partner with BetterHelp to bring its expertise and badly-needed therapy services to Queens and the CBOs who uplift so many families every day.”

“We’re incredibly honored to partner with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards to make mental health services more accessible to Queens residents and the community-based organizations that support them,” said BetterHelp President and Founder ALON MATAS. “Our mission is to make therapy accessible to all, and this partnership is a big step in that direction for the Queens community.” 

The CBOs — serving a wide array of geographic, demographic and professional communities, including those who have been historically overlooked — that will be recipients of free mental services courtesy of BetterHelp include:

  • Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities in Corona
  • Glow Community Center in Flushing
  • Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association in Jackson Heights
  • LIFE Camp, Inc. in Jamaica
  • Phoenix Houses in Long Island City
  • Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation in Far Rockaway
  • Sunnyside Community Services in Sunnyside
  • United Federation of Teachers
  • Urban Resource Institute
  • Urban Upbound in Long Island City

Today’s announcement comes just two weeks after Borough President Richards hosted his inaugural Queens Wellness Day in Flushing, which saw hundreds of community members participate in meditation and healing sessions, as well as a comprehensive health resource expo.

The partnership with BetterHelp to support the mental wellness of Queens families also supplements more than $18.6 million in funding Borough President Richards has allocated across Queens’ health care facilities over the course of his first term.

“We are so pleased to have been chosen to participate in this initiative,” said Sunnyside Community Services Executive Director JUDY ZANGWILL. “COVID-19 has profoundly affected the mental health wellness of the people in our communities, and we applaud Borough President Richards for taking this important step toward addressing the issue. 

“When we think about our communities, in particular low-moderate income communities that have traditionally shied away from health and wellness needs due to the misperception that you are weak, when in fact you are strong because the first step is often the hardest step when recognizing you need help,” said Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation President and CEO KEVIN ALEXANDER. “Time and time again we have seen when there is a crisis, we collectively downplay the need of mental health and wellness services, and that is why we are excited about the opportunity Queens Borough President Donovan Richards is initiating through a partnership with BetterHelp is offering to communities across Queens. RDRC will continue to use critically needed tools such as this initiative to improve the quality of life for all Queens residents.”

Follow the Office of the Queens Borough President via @QnsBPRichards on Twitter and @QueensBPRichards on Facebook and Instagram