Parachute NYC Launches Crisis Innovations, Respite Center, Warm Line

Parachute NYC: Innovation in Crisis Situations
By Jamie Neckles, Parachute NYC Project Manager - New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announces the launch of Parachute NYC: an innovative citywide approach to provide a “soft-landing” for individuals experiencing psychiatric crisis.

When someone is in crisis-but not at imminent risk to self or others-s/he can be referred to Parachute NYC by calling 1–800–LIFENET. The person will be seen at home by an enhanced Mobile team within 24 hours of the referral. The enhanced Mobile team will have the ability to work with the person as frequently as needed-even daily-for up to one year. The team will help the person to develop a network starting at the first meeting. This network will include the person and other people s/he chooses, such as family, friends, vocational staff, etc.

If the person receiving services needs a different level of care than can be provided at home-and is not at imminent risk to self or others—s/he can be referred to the Crisis Respite Center. The Respite is a home-like, warm, supportive and safe environment for people to stay during times of heightened distress. People may stay at the Respite for up to fourteen days. During their stay, Respite guests will continue to work with the Mobile team. The Respite is staffed with a mixture of peers and behavioral health professionals who are available 24/7 to offer peer support, wellness education and skills building. At this stage, Mobile and Respite services are available only to people living in stable housing.

People who are not interested in receiving treatment from the Mobile team may also stay at the Respite (e.g., someone who already has a mental health provider but is experiencing or anticipating a crisis). These individuals must provide a current clinical evaluation or consent to an evaluation by the Mobile team.

There is significant peer involvement in every component of Parachute NYC; besides mental health services, peers will work as peer health navigators to integrate medical health into the continuum of care.

All referrals to Parachute NYC are made through 1–800–LIFENET.

Parachute NYC also includes a peer operated Support Line for people to call when they are experiencing emotional distress to connect with a trained operator who has had similar experiences. Anyone can call the support line by dialing 646–741–HOPE. All services are confidential and there is no need for a referral.

Currently, Visiting Nurse Service of New York provides enhanced Mobile services and Community Access provides s Respite for residents of Manhattan. The Support Line, also operated by Community Access, is available to anyone in New York City. Enhanced Mobile and Respite services will open for Brooklyn residents in April. Brooklyn services will be exclusively for people aged 16–25 experiencing a first episode of psychosis. Services will open in Bronx and Queens, again for people aged 18–65, in late 2013 and early 2014, respectively.

Please visit our website for additional information: OMH site


NYC Peer Crisis Respite Center Open House

Wednesdays in March

(March 6, 13, 20, & 27)

4:00 PM-6:00 PM

Community Access has recently opened NYC’s first Crisis Respite Center for Manhattan residents as part of the NYC Parachute Program. This is a peer run respite center that provides a “soft landing” as an entry point to the mental health system by creating crisis respite centers as a short-term place to stay when people are experiencing psychosis-related crisis.

Please RSVP to Keith Aguiar at

For questions or additional information please call

646-257-5665 Ext. 8400

Parachute NYC


Community Access is pleased to announce the opening of New York City’s first peer-operated support line. Open daily from 4 p.m. to midnight, this support line will be a contact point for New Yorkers experiencing emotional distress, offering an opportunity to connect with individuals who have had similar experiences.

The new support line is part of Parachute NYC, an innovative Department of Health and Mental Hygiene initiative designed to reduce the use of emergency rooms and inpatient care for people experiencing an emotional crisis. Parachute NYC is supported by a federal Healthcare Innovation Grant

from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.