Mental health issues have received less attention or support in the medical setting due to the lack of clear physical signs of mental illness compared to physical illness (UC San Diego School of Medicine, 2020). The national average of mental health illness is 18-20 percent. In the State of Pennsylvania, 17.52 percent of adults have a form of mental illness (Mental Health America, 2020). Pennsylvania was ranked ninth nationally for overall mental health (Pennsylvania Pressroom, 2020).
Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters is aimed at expanding resources throughout the State of Pennsylvania (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2020). The Governor of Pennsylvania initiated this movement. This initiative includes ways to strengthen mental health access. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department ensures that access to mental health is affordable (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2020). According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (2020) the Department of Human Services incentivized the integration of physical and behavioral health services to remove barriers to treatment. In addition, this initiative recognizes that there is a mental health stigma. Therefore, it’s important to raise the awareness of the normalcy and importance of mental health care (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2020). Reach Out PA includes roundtable discussion in order to collaborate with community-based organizations and help raise public awareness (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2020).
The Department of Education will increase the amount of qualified social workers who are trained to work in our schools by providing holistic services and support (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2020). For example, social workers are used to support schools, provide crisis management and mental health treatment, and engage the school, family and community in enhancing existing student support (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2020). The Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will evaluate how to ensure that every school district can provide a full-time counselor, social worker and nurse to increase counseling and mental health services at schools (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2020). Lastly, this initiative will expand training on suicide prevention and mental health interventions. To date, there have been over 400 Department of Labor & Industry that have received training on suicide prevention (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2020).
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (2020). Pennsylvania launches ‘Reach out of PA: Your mental health matters. Retrieved from https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-launches-reach-out-pa-your-mental-health-matters/