The Newsfeed

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

MHAPA’s mission is to advocate on behalf of the mental health of Pennsylvania’s citizens. This month, we are proud to share news with you about a bill we are supporting called the Veteran’s Mental Health Accessibility Act. MHAPA believes the mental health crisis facing today’s veterans is one of the most urgent and devastating issues in the mental health community, and that this legislation is a bold and necessary step toward solving it. We encourage you to ask your legislators to get behind the bill as well.

As in every Newsfeed, we have news from some of our Affiliates around the state. They suffered drastic funding cuts last year yet continue to show resiliency in the face of adversity and to find unique ways to serve their communities. I applaud them and thank them for their determination to create more welcoming, supportive communities for people living with mental illness. (See our budget update for more about next fiscal year’s budget.)

Read more »

Hr

Protecting Those Who Protect Us

ghghgh

Some of the worst war wounds are invisible. Unlike physical injuries, which can be seen and treated right away, combat’s mental wounds aren’t always immediately evident—and some don’t manifest for years.

Under current law, veterans have a five-year post-service window to seek treatment from the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration (VA) for combat-related mental illness. After five years, they lose higher priority status and go to the back of the line for treatment. The average wait to receive life saving benefits is 237 days for everyone in the system, but one of the things that can make the wait even longer is where a veteran is in the line. If a vet is too far back, they may not get treatment at all.

Read more »

Back to topHr

Budget Update

As proposed by the Governor, community mental health base dollars are flat funded in FY 2013-2014. The budget includes an increase of approximately $21.5 million in the mental health line item, which is earmarked for state hospitals. In addition, another $4.725 million, representing six-month funding for a new CHIPP initiative, would transition 90 individuals from state hospitals into the community. It is assumed the CHIPP initiative dollars will be annualized in the fiscal year 2014-2015 budget. In addition to the flat community mental health base funding, the proposed budget includes no increase to the Behavioral Health Special Initiative (BHSI) dollars or Act 152 dollars.

Read more »

Back to top

Hr

ITE/MH Campaign Spotlight On

ITE

This spring, the ITE/MH Campaign puts the Spotlight On three organizations and one unique program that are promoting and supporting mental health recovery in their communities. Each is taking an innovative approach to working within and outside of the mental health system to raise awareness that mental health recovery is real—and the men and women experiencing it are the Evidence.

Read more »

Back to top Hr

Affiliate Updates

Mental Health America of Westmoreland CountyMental Health America of Westmoreland County

On May 9, Mental Health America of Westmoreland County held its annual Innovations Award, celebrating local visionaries whose work with, and on behalf of, people living with mental illness inspires us.

Award recipients were: Pressley Ridge, which provides services that help keep youth with challenging behaviors in their homes, schools, and communities; Matt Zamosky, Director of Westmoreland County Office of Veterans Affairs, who is committed to ensuring that veterans receive those benefits to which they are greatly entitled; Union Mission, which provides temporary shelter and needed services to homeless men in Westmoreland and surrounding counties while assisting them in their move toward self-sufficiency; and Erika Beras of 90.5 WESA Radio, Pittsburgh’s NPR Affiliate, who  shines the spotlight on mental health issues as an award winning behavioral health reporter for WESA.

Read more »

Back to top Hr

Announcements & Events

“Talk. They Hear You.”

“Talk. They Hear You,” a new PSA campaign unveiled by SAMHSA, equips parents and caregivers with the tools and information they need to start talking with children as young as nine years old about the dangers of alcohol. The campaign’s TV, radio, and print public service announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish feature parents “seizing the moment” to talk with their children about alcohol while preparing dinner or doing chores together. By modeling behaviors in these PSAs, parents can discover the many “natural” opportunities for initiating the conversation about alcohol with their children. Visit the “Talk. They Hear You.” website at www.samhsa.gov/underagedrinking.

Read more »

 

Back to top