Through a new initiative from the New York’s Office of Nightlife, restaurant workers, performers, and hospitality business operators can receive mental health support as the COVID-19 pandemic takes a toll not only on the economy, but the physical and mental health of workers around the state.
Workers in the nightlife community can access free weekly online support groups to address trauma and stress in their industry, through the partnership between the Office of Nightlife, Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health and Backline Care. The new wellness plan, titled Elevate: Nightlife Mental Health Initiative, will give workers the opportunity to work one-on-one with a case manager to create a personalized mental health plan, and it will give them access additional resources and training.
“The Office of Nightlife is extremely happy to launch Elevate: Nightlife Mental Health Initiative with our partners at the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health and Backline Care,’ said Ariel Palitz, senior executive director at the Office of Nightlife. “This is a critically important resource as we are on the road back to recovery. While there has always been a great need for mental health support for the nightlife community, it has only been amplified now throughout this most difficult year.”
The free weekly online support groups will be held Mondays at 4 p.m. ET, led by a licensed therapist and Backline, a national nonprofit organization that provides mental health and wellness resources to the music and nightlife industries. Nightlife workers who are interested can sign up here. There will also be a suicide awareness webinar held on Sept. 29 with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
“As New Yorkers in the nightlife industry help our city recover, many are dealing with the stress, anxiety, loss and instability brought on by COVID-19,” said Susan Herman, director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health, in a statement. “That’s why we are proud to partner with the Office of Nightlife and Backline Care to bring mental health support to New York City’s nightlife community through online support groups.”
The New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is also launching Off-Broadway in the Boros Fest, a series of Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theatrical performances from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 across the five boroughs. On the heels of Broadway’s reopening, the performances will shine a light on the theatre community, which was hit hard during the pandemic shutdown, and offer entertainment to New Yorkers.