We are seeking registered nurses to join our Health Care Quality Unit (HCQU) in our office in Allentown.  The HCQU is designed to assure that individuals who have developmental disabilities (DD) are as physically and behaviorally healthy as they can be.

Educational/Professional Requirements:

  • R.N. with an unrestricted Pennsylvania License.

  • Minimum of 3 years experience.

  • Behavioral health experience preferred.

  • Experience with individuals who have DD preferred.

General Description:

  • Monday through Friday.

  • No Holidays or Weekends.

  • Occasional single destination travel.

  • Perform assessments of the physical and behavioral health of individuals who have DD.

  • Develop and/or deliver education programs.

  • Collaborate with DD service providers and other physical and behavioral health care providers.

Salary and benefits commensurate with experience.  Please reply in confidence to:


    The Advocacy Alliance
    HCQU Director
    744 North 19th Street
    Allentown, PA  18104

FAX:  (610) 435-9398

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Spread the Word: “I’m Standing Up For Mental Health”

untitledSpread the Word: “I’m Standing Up For Mental Health”

If you have already publicly disclosed that you have a mental illness, or you’re ready to, we hope you’ll join the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign. Or, even if you do not have a mental health disorder but you feel stigma and discrimination are destructive and wrong, we encourage you to join us in our efforts. You can join us by displaying one of our campaign buttons on your website, blog or social site.

What is the Stand Up for Mental Health Campaign About?

Why Is It Time to Stand Up for Mental Health?

Like other groups throughout history, people with a mental illness have been marginalized, discriminated against and made to feel like second class citizens. Others refused to tolerate it, why should you?

By Standing Up for Mental Health, you’ll let others know:

  • There is nothing “wrong” with having a mental illness.
  • People with a mental illness are not alone in what they are dealing with.
  • People with a mental illness shouldn’t feel ashamed or forced to hide their mental illness symptoms and desire for effective treatment.
  • Mental health stigma will no longer be tolerated.

Help Us Stop the Stigma

Get involved with the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign and help us stop the stigma associated with mental illness. Participation is free and easy. Just surf on over to our Grab a Button page to get your own Stand Up for Mental Health campaign button. Display it proudly on your website, blog or social media profile. Let others know you stand up for change and encourage others to stand up for change and the ability to talk openly about mental health.

When you get your button, you’ll have the option to enter your name and a link to your website, blog or social media profile. So by displaying the button, you’ll not only become part of the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign team, you’ll also get a link back to your site from the largest web-based consumer mental health information organization.

Grab a button now. There’s no need to hide.

Mental Health Stigma and a Culture of Intolerance

Why is mental health stigma so prevalent even though mental health statistics and facts reveal that over 46 million Americans suffer from some sort of mental illness? Sadly, we live in a shameful culture that has developed a pervasive habit of intolerance toward some of its fellow citizens.

We need to: stop the stigma; stop the hate; stop the culture of intolerance.

Get Involved and Eliminate the Stigma of Mental Illness

Join our Stand Up for Mental Health campaign today and eliminate the stigma of mental illness. Live your life with an open mind and expect respect and acceptance from your fellow citizens.

President Obama Calls for Mental Health First Aid in Gun Control Proposal

Statement by Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health

Media inquiries to Meena Dayak at or 301.602.8474

“As part of his recommendations to protect our communities from gun violence, President Obama today rightly called for Mental Health First Aid training to help teachers and staff recognize the signs of mental health disorders in young people and find them appropriate care.

“The youth version of Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based training program to help citizens identify mental health problems in young people, connect youth with care, and safely deescalate crisis situations if needed. The program, focusing on youth ages 12 to 25, provides an ideal forum to engage communities in discussing the signs and symptoms of mental illness, the prevalence of mental health disorders, the effectiveness of treatment and how to engage troubled young people in services.

“This groundbreaking training is critical for anyone who spends time with young people. The first onset of severe mental illness typically occurs in the late teens or early twenties. The symptoms of severe mental illness often emerge slowly over this period and can be difficult to detect without basic information on what to look for. Even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing mental illness can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment — which means that all too often, those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late. Research shows that the sooner people get help for mental health disorders, the more likely they are to have positive outcomes.

“The adult Mental Health First Aid program has already been delivered to nearly 100,000 Americans through a network of more than 2,500 instructors.

“We, of course, understand that no amount of training can guarantee horrific acts won’t occur, but being comfortable with openly talking about mental illness and engaging young adults and their families can increase the likelihood we may be able to help and intervene early.

“We are grateful to Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) and Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) who will shortly reintroduce Mental Health First Aid legislation in Congress to implement the President’s recommendations.

“We also encourage President Obama and Congress to consider other National Council policy proposals which will dramatically increase our nation’s ability to provide timely, high-quality mental health and addictions services to people in need. The proposals may be found on our web site at”

The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with our 2,000 member organizations, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — the more than 8 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained more than 80,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care and treatment in their communities. More at

National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

1701 K Street NW Suite 400 | Washington DC | 20006

Phone: 202.684.7457 | Email:



Faces behind the stats—share the stories of people hurt by PA budget cuts


This past fall, the Pennsylvania Association of County Administrators and Mental Health and Developmental Services (PACA MH/DS) surveyed counties across Pennsylvania about how the state’s 10% cuts to community-based behavioral health services—on top of a decade of underfunding—have impacted programs and services throughout the Commonwealth. In December, PACA MH/DS released the survey results: the impact on counties was widespread and pervasive—89 percent of responding counties reduced programs and services at the local level and 63 percent of the responding counties eliminated one or more programs or services.  (See a snapshot of results and a county-by-county response here.)

While this data is critical to helping everyone understand how the cuts have hurt on a local level, behind the numbers are individuals and families—please help us tell their stories as well. These personal impact stories show legislators that the people they serve are suffering.  We are asking all consumers, family, friends, providers, and advocates to help collect personal impact stories from consumers across the state.

How to Share Stories

Online. Visit PA Cares for All ( to take a survey for individuals. The confidential, online survey asks for information and stories from Pennsylvanians who have lost their general assistance. Family, friends, and social service providers can also complete the survey.

By Phone, Regular Mail, or Email.  For people who would rather tell their story by phone or regular mail, The Psychiatric Leadership Council is collecting stories by phone at (855) 278-0031 (NOTE: This is NOT a HELP LINE); letters to Tears in the Safety Net, P.O. Box 103, Conestoga, PA 17516-0103; or Email to PASafetyNet@PMHCC.ORG. (Confidentiality is not guaranteed.)

If you work for a behavioral health organization, please also send a message to all of your constituents asking them to help gather stories via any of the above methods. You can tailor this email message to use with your contacts.

Thank you for your help—the more stories we collect, the better we can show Harrisburg the consequences of their actions and prevent further cuts.

Copyright© 2012 Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania

Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services recently introduced a Developmental Services Hot Line

The Developmental Services Department of the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services recently introduced a Developmental Services Hot Line for consumers and families served within the Developmental Services system.

A post card announcing this Hot Line has been sent to all individuals receiving Developmental Services.

hot line post card

The Commonwealth Medical College teams with Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services Office and Advocacy Alliance’s Health Care Quality Unit

The Commonwealth Medical College teams with Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services Office and Advocacy Alliance’s Health Care Quality Unit

The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) has partnered with Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services Office and the Advocacy Alliance’s Health Care Quality Unit to work on a Quality Improvement Community Collaboration (QuICC) project with second-year medical students.

QuICC projects are designed as part of the second year curriculum in the medical degree program and provide students with hands-on experience with community partners to identify and work toward a solution to a quality improvement initiative.

Working with the Advocacy Alliance and Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services Office, TCMC medical students will have the opportunity to work with a community of individuals with behavioral health challenges and developmental disabilities.

The goal of the QuICC project is for caregivers to have a better understanding of expected patient behaviors, side effects and adverse reactions with commonly used medications. In addition, they will work with caregivers to be patient advocates while working among the healthcare team and be able to identify and communicate behavior changes in their residents to better meet their needs.

Advocacy Alliance tcmc

Seated from left: Relindis Awah, MD2; Sharif Ahmed, MD2; Emily Vistica, MD2; Luana Hossain, MD2; and Zach Wilkinson, MD2. Standing from left: Gina Galli, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services; Sharon Falzone, PhD, Director of the Advocacy Alliance Health Care Quality Unit; and Jamileh Hanna, MD2. Missing from photo: Hannah Canty, MD2.