The Newsfeed

Letter from Sue Walther

Dear Friends,

It’s budget season in Pennsylvania and still the new administration’s first 100 days in Washington D.C. The Newsfeed is focused on both, offering an analysis of Governor Wolf’s proposed FY17-18 behavioral health budget and of the recently released U.S. House bill—the American Health Care Act (AHCA)—that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Governor Wolf's Proposed FY2017-2018 Budget

Governor Wolf's Proposed FY2017-2018 BudgetAs part of his budget, Governor Wolf is proposing the consolidation of four departments—Human Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs and Aging—into one new department, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

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Norristown State Hospital's Civil Section Closure

Norristown State Hospital's Civil Section Closure

The administration announced the closure of NSH civil section over the next two years. The civil section currently serves approximately 122 individuals. Of the 122 beds, at least 60 will be retained as step-down beds for individuals transferred out of the forensic unit. In addition, a 30-bed CHIPP initiative is included for Wernersville State Hospital. These beds will not be closed but remain open for the southeast region to have access to state hospital beds that will no longer be available at NSH.

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Affordable Care Act (ACA) Replacement Legislation

Affordable Care Act (ACA)—Replacement Legislation

It's well proven that the ACA has helped millions of Americans and expanded access to affordable coverage and care in many communities, including the mental health community. With the introduction of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the future of the ACA is uncertain. While the legislations faces many hurdles before becoming law, we took an initial look at, if passed, how it will impact communities and individuals. The following overview is based on the original AHCA proposal released in early March.

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I'm The Evidence of What Happens When One Seeks Help

Dana, who is currently incarcerated at a Pennsylvania State Correctional Facility, recently shared her recovery story with our I’m the Evidence/Mental Health Campaign.

In 2004, I went through a terrible episode of postpartum depression. I had already had five children and this was my sixth one. My husband was at work all day. Taking care of two middle schoolers, a pre-schooler, 2½ year old, 1½ year old, and newborn, I thought I was going to lose my mind. I was overwhelmed with having to deal with homework, chores, bills, cooking, parent teacher conferences, and sports events

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Affiliate Updates

GRMHAGreater Reading Mental Health Alliance (GRMHA)

GRMHA is gearing up for its 4th Annual Walk for Mental Wellness on June 4. The walk helps bring appropriate attention to mental illness as a medical condition comparable to any other disease such as diabetes or cancer. More here.

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