NYC launches new mental health helpline

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City is expanding its mental health help line, which can now handle more calls and take in text messages.

City first lady Chirlane McCray announced the service Monday. It's called "NYC Well" and enlarges an existing service called Lifenet.

The city had described Lifenet as a general mental health and substance abuse help line, but officials say it focused on suicide prevention and people in crisis.

They say NYC Well is broader, offering help with persistent mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.

Callers get referrals to mental health professionals. But the city says the hotline now can also offer brief counseling, as well as support from people trained to use their own experiences to help others.

NYC Well also can follow up with callers.

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