The Newsfeed

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

This time of year, the pressure is on to celebrate, spend, reflect, cook and eat with abundance. For some people, the season is joyful and festive, for others it's painful and lonely. Let us all make a special effort to look beyond the lights and good cheer for opportunities to uplift people struggling to maintain financial, physical, or mental good health.

As the days of 2016 wind down, I’m reflecting on the good of the past year...

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Q&A with Lynn Kovich, New OMHSAS Deputy Secretary

Lynn KovichThis fall, Pennsylvania’s Office of Mental Health and Human Services (OMHSAS) welcomed a new Deputy Secretary. Lynn Kovich assumed the position on November 13, bringing to OMHSAS 26 years of experience in direct services and administration in nonprofit and government, where she’s worked with individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders, as well as those experiencing homelessness.

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What's Up in York/Adams, Lancaster, and Berks Counties?

Last year, MHAPA kicked off road trips around the Commonwealth to visit with our Affiliates, starting in Erie. This year, we headed to Pennsylvania Dutch country, where we visited with Mental Health America of Lancaster County, Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance, and Mental Health America of York and Adams County. On day one of the visit, the three Affiliates shared what they’re up to. On day two, they cohosted a free community wellness event for area residents, offering exercise, yoga, nutrition, other wellness programs, and community resource information. Approximately 75 people attended.

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Obamacare Works in Pennsylvania

Obamacare Works in Pennsylvania

Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act or “ACA”) is working in Pennsylvania!

In a May testimony before the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy and Communication Committee, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Theresa Miller shared that more than 40 percent of Pennsylvanians have insurance, even with preexisting health conditions—under the ACA they cannot be denied coverage.

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Maintaining Voice During Hospitalization

Maintaining Voice during Hospitalization

During a 2004 commitment to a psychiatric hospital, Tracy Carney felt as though she lost her voice. After leaving the hospital, she wanted to ensure her voice about her treatment course remained strong should she ever be hospitalized again. To do so, in 2006 Tracy completed a Mental Health Advance Directive (MHAD), a clear written statement of an individual’s mental health treatment preferences or other expressed wishes or instructions made while capacitated.

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Affiliate Updates

Mental Health America of Lancaster County (MHALC)Mental Health America of Lancaster County (MHALC)

MHALC’s Annual Gifts of Joy Project helps mental health caseworkers collect and provide holiday gifts for children and adults who have a mental health diagnosis and won’t receive any other gifts over the holidays. Last year, the program gave gifts to more than 600 people. Among the gifts requested by men and women were basic hygiene items like soap and deodorant. Children looked forward to new books for craft supplies. Learn how to get involved.

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In the Headlines...

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