The Newsfeed

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

These are bad times for behavioral health services in Pennsylvania. Governor Corbett's proposed reshaping of the way human services are funded is severely impacting organizations across the state. His plan includes budget cuts that will hinder the delivery of critical programs and supports for hundreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania.

MHAPA has actively advocated for these organizations and individuals and will continue to do so as best we can. But we too are affected by the Corbett administration's actions. Although The Newsfeed has not been an advocacy forum in the past, we made the decision to address our budget realities in this edition and urge you to act—it's not too late and your voice should be heard! Below is a detailed summary of how the budget will impact MHAPA.

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Budget Updates

Governor Tom Corbett

On May 7, the Pennsylvania Senate introduced its version of the FY 2012-2013 budget. The $27.7 billion spending plan, which passed on May 9, restores some of the funding that Governor Corbett cut in his earlier budget proposal. On May 21, the House Appropriations Committee approved the Senate's budget plan.

Highlights

Although the Senate's Budget Bill maintains the Governor's proposed Human Services Development Block Grant to counties, it does reduce the amount of the human services funding cut from 20% to 10%. It also increases total spending from $27.15 billion to $27.65 billion—an increase of $500 million.

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Meet Demi Anne Dennis, Glenn Koons Scholarship Recipient and Peer Support Specialist To Be

In the Winter 2012 edition of The Newsfeed, we announced that we'd awarded the first annual Glenn Koons Certified Peer Specialist Scholarship. The scholarship, which is for Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) training, was awarded to Demi Anne Dennis. Below meet Demi, who represents everything Glenn valued and worked toward during his life.

Congratulations, Demi, on being the first recipient of this scholarship. Let's start with some background. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thank you—it's an honor to receive support for my goal to support others. 

I'm 23 years old and was born in Kingston, PA—but I grew up in Philadelphia. I now live in Wilkes Barre with my one-year-old daughter and am going back to school in the fall to pursue a degree in human services.

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Children's News

Children's News

Resources for Engaging Families, Including New PA Juvenile Probation Officer Curriculum

Increasingly, Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice systems are adopting family engagement approaches long used by Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities systems. This is good news for families and their children because a partnership approach improves relationships among systems and families, as well as outcomes for the children involved. Pennsylvania continues to lead the nation in developing and implementing family engagement models in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare systems. Family Group Decision Making is becoming the favored approach for both. (See here for more information.

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Affiliate Updates

GRMHAGreater Reading Mental Health Alliance (GRMHA)

During the spring and fall months, and in association with NAMI of Berks County, GRMHA offers educational teachings and seminars. Topics range from practical daily living skills to understanding issues of clinical mental health disorders. Experts in their field and guest facilitators present such topics as, "Living With Bipolar Disorder," "How to Improve Your Memory," "Facts About Psychiatric Hospitalization," "Borderline Personality Disorder," and "Supporting Loved Ones With Mental Health Issues." Everyone is welcome but space is limited and reservations recommended. For the most part, the programs are free to NAMI members, although some seminars require a nominal donation. See upcoming offerings here.

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Announcements and Events

June 5 is Capitol Day! Don't miss it! The Pennsylvania Community Providers Association (PCPA) has partnered with concerned associations and advocacy groups in a joint effort to come together in Harrisburg on June 5 to call for a budget that offers the support required by Pennsylvanians receiving behavioral health, intellectual disability, and autism services. PCPA urges members, consumers, and families to take part in Capitol Day and to let elected officials know these services are essential and need to be supported. For more information contact Anne Leisure, PCPA director of legislative affairs at anne@paproviders.org.

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