What We Do

Using data and evidence to drive change

This guiding principle involves listening and working with all stakeholders, including our academic institutions, to identify and address gaps, improve programmes and create a truly equitable and responsive mental health system, by drawing on a wide range of evidence and creating an inquiring culture which builds evidence from practice

Data collection and analysis are a key part of any evidence-based decision making process. When providers routinely use real-time data on individual care outcomes, it can markedly improve their ability to ensure that the patient is receiving the right care in the right order.

More broadly, there is still much that we don’t know about the mental health of our citizens and the effectiveness of services. Our goal is to expand the traditional surveillance of mental health outcomes, especially for our younger citizens and explore ways to harness technology and “big data” to improve mental health citywide.

  • Develop new measures and methods to understand mental health needs and priorities.

  • Enable others to use data to test, adopt, and improve their practices.

  • Identify, evaluate, and disseminate promising mental health approaches and interventions

  • Promote citizen owned data

Better data can help to guide our City’s unmet mental health needs. It can enable us to visualize these needs disaggregated by geography or demographic profile, which will allow for better targeting. It can also help us track both the impact of treatment as well as gaps in coverage and quality. Investing in better surveys and research will enable providers to make meaningful comparisons of different approaches for mental health, including cost-benefit analyses.

New technologies can also help create maps to visualize inequities, focus on bottlenecks, access services in real-time, connect residents to care, and troubleshoot problems in community mental health.

A creation of new Mental Health Innovation Lab which will enable better use of information and best practices among partners and providers, and provide necessary technical assistance and support to local service providers and City agencies . The Lab will help drive the use of evidence-based best practices throughout the field and design better methods for getting the data we need, which will lead to more innovative and effective programmes. The Lab will:

Scan, gather, synthesize, and disseminate knowledge of effective mental health strategies
Adopt new techniques and data sources that will allow us to better track, measure, and address population needs
Evaluate smart choices and make recommendations for new practices
Help test, evaluate, and support innovation and implementation
Evaluate, disseminate, and advise on the use of evidence-based best practices;
Provide hands-on support in the use of implementation science to help others close treatment gaps, promote prevention, and use data better
Provide better data to mental health stakeholders by sharing and developing innovative survey and screening methods for mental wellness as well as illness; information collection; new metrics that better capture the need for and impact of mental health and substance use services; and cost-benefit analyses
Work with key employers to better understand city employees’ health needs and support their work to promote mental well-being among the city’s workforce.