|Posted:||December 1, 2022 08:07 AM|
|From:||Representative Michael H. Schlossberg|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Time to Fix Pennsylvania's Broken Mental Health Care|
|Approximately 1.7 million Pennsylvanians live in a community that does not have enough mental health professionals. In the last year, 98,000 of our kids between the ages of 12 and 17 have been diagnosed with depression, yet 57% of them were unable to receive any care. Five Pennsylvanians take their own life every day. The time for hearings and studies is over! We know the problems. We have solutions. It is time to act, and act swiftly.
As part of the 2022-2023 budget (through Act 54 of 2022), the General Assembly established the Behavioral Health Commission on Adult Mental Health, a 24-person commission tasked with providing recommendations to the General Assembly on how to appropriate $100 million in one-time ARPA funding to address adult behavioral health needs in Pennsylvania. The Commission, composed of experts in the behavioral health field, advocates, providers, as well as myself and fellow legislators from across the aisle, met over the course of 4 weeks for a total of 17 hours to create a set of recommendations we strongly believed would be the first step towards true change for all Pennsylvanians. It's time to act on those recommendations. The lives of family, friends and neighbors throughout Pennsylvania are on the line.
As we begin a new Session, it is imperative these recommendations become our top priority as policymakers. Therefore, I will be introducing legislation that will take the following recommendations from the Commission and turn them into actionable legislation, as well as expanding these efforts to address the needs of our struggling youth:
Introduced as HB849