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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: June 10, 2021 11:55 AM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg and Rep. Rosemary M. Brown, Rep. Jeanne McNeill, Rep. Jason Ortitay, Rep. Pam Snyder, Rep. Wendi Thomas
To: All House members
Subject: Addressing Shortage of Mental Health Services in Underserved Areas
More than half of Pennsylvanians living with a mental illness have reported that they have not received any form of services or treatment. Two-thirds of adults 65 and older reported that they were unable to receive appropriate mental health services or treatment. Alarmingly, these statistics represent data prior to the pandemic.
According to the most recent CDC report on the effects of COVID-19 on mental health, adults experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression increased from 36.4 to 41.5 percent between August 2020 and February 2021. This was accompanied by an increase from 9.2 to 11.7 percent of adults reporting that their mental health care needs went unmet due to lack of access to services.
To fight the lasting effects of COVID-19 on mental health, we will be introducing legislation that will establish and administer a program to provide funds for postdoctoral psychology internship placements in federally designated underserved areas - both urban and rural - throughout Pennsylvania. This program will not only expand access to mental health services and supports to underserved communities, but also provide an opportunity to better train and retain psychologists in the Commonwealth.
Access to mental health resources in our most underserved areas must be remedied, and the need has been made more apparent and urgent due to the pandemic. Please join us in sponsoring this important legislation to improve access to these services in underserved communities across Pennsylvania while helping prepare a future generation of mental health professionals.

Introduced as HB1690