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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 10, 2018 09:31 AM
From: Representative Helen Tai
To: All House members
Subject: Study on the Mental Health Provider Shortage
Please join me in co-sponsoring a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the mental health provider shortage in Pennsylvania.

Although there is a growing need for mental health services across the United States, many states, including Pennsylvania, are experiencing mental health provider shortages. These shortages are widespread and impact all age groups, ethnicities and genders.

As an example, a recent report by the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force found that the availability of school-based mental health and support personnel in Pennsylvania falls short of recommended staffing levels. It was even reported that many school social workers in the Commonwealth cover multiple schools with thousands of students, which leads to worker burnout and unavailable or inaccessible services for students. Overall, student access to mental health resources was the most agreed upon topic among participants of the task force.

Studies have shown that mental illness can even impact an individual’s overall health and may lead to substance abuse and the development of chronic medical conditions. The economic consequences of untreated mental illness include costing the nation billions of dollars per year due to lost workplace productivity and diverted resources from first responders. It is for these reasons and more that I intend to introduce a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the mental health provider shortage in Pennsylvania and issue a report.

The commission’s report will explore the factors behind the mental health provider shortage, make projections on the number of providers in the future and offer recommendations to stop and reverse the shortage.

Thank you for considering co-sponsoring this important resolution.

Introduced as HR1109