HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Mental health challenges were growing before the pandemic, and they have only gotten worse since.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2,014 Pennsylvanians lost their lives to suicide in 2020. State politicians are developing plans to improve Pennsylvanians’ mental health.
State Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh County), who says he has suffered from anxiety and previously had suicidal thoughts, is proposing $100 million for what he calls “HOPE for PA.”
The funds would go toward embedding more social workers with police, helping providers increase capacity and offer more outpatient services, and offering more education and outreach about mental health challenges and how to get help.
“There is more emotional pain in the world today than maybe at any point in most of our lifetimes. All of us in this room know someone who suffers from mental illness, or that person is us. The statistics bear out this painful reality: one in five Americans actively suffers from some sort of mental illness. As we all know, during the pandemic those numbers doubled,” Schlossberg said.
Schlossberg says with an unprecedented budget surplus, there is no reason not to fund his HOPE for PA proposal.