Kids & Anxiety – One Families Fight to Erase Stigma

First run on the Today Show this morning (December 12th), this story reiterates the importance of really paying attention to your children’s moods and feelings — especially when they open up to you about their concerns or fears regarding their mental health! Click the link below to watch the video.

Kids and Anxiety: How one family is working to erase the stigma.

Make the Connection: A Resource for Veterans

Make the Connection, website is a public awareness campaign by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that provides personal testimonials and resources to help Veterans discover ways to improve their lives. Many of our Nation’s Veterans, from those who served in World War II to those involved in current conflicts, return not only with physical wounds but also mental health issues they may not recognize.

The Make the Connection campaign encourages Veterans and their families to “make the connection”- with information and resources, with the strength and resilience of Veterans like themselves, with other people, and with available sources of support including mental health treatments.

Veterans and their families and friends can privately explore information about physical and mental health symptoms, challenging life events, and mental health conditions. On this site, Veterans and their families and friends can learn about available resources and support.

Visit Make the Connection to learn more about the resources and connections available for Veterans.

PMHCA Announces Upcoming Trainings

The Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association (PMHCA) is a statewide member organization providing information, referrals and supports to people who are receiving services or in recovery from a mental illness in Pennsylvania.

Training Opportunities in Pennsylvania









For more information, please contact:
4105 Derry Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17111

PCPA: Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Governor Proclaims Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Governor Tom Corbett has issued a proclamation making May 9 Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. In his proclamation the governor notes that “addressing the complex mental health needs of children, youth and families today is fundamental to the future of Pennsylvania.” Governor Corbett goes on to “urge our commonwealth’s citizens to become aware of the importance of effective and coordinated services for children and youth, to learn about the impact of trauma on child health and well-being, and to unite in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of comprehensive programs for children and youth with mental health needs and their families.”

PCPA joins the governor and neighbors across Pennsylvania in celebrating Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and commends mental health professionals and workers who strive daily to meet the complex needs of children, youth, and families.


Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287

PMHCA Upcoming Rallies

Reposted information from email via

Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association 
Upcoming Rallies to Stop the Proposed Cuts

There are many opportunities to make your voice heard at upcoming rallies to stop the proposed budget cuts.
Read about two opportunities below and check out our 
calendar and website for more chances to get involved. 
May 5:

“Occupy the APA”: Participants from around the country will gather on May 5, 2012, at 10 a.m. at Friends Center, 1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, in a peaceful effort to call attention to the American Psychiatric Association’s misguided plans to publish a new edition of psychiatry’s “Bible,” the DSM-5, that will inevitably lead to over-prescription of psychiatric drugs, according to its many critics. At approximately 12:15, we will march to the Pennsylvania Convention Center (12th and Arch Streets), where we will rally. Join us! (Occupy the APA is a big tent: participants will represent a spectrum of points of view. But we will be united by our belief that the DSM-5, which the American Psychiatric Association wants to make its next “Bible,” is not a “Good Book”!) Following are links to two sets of talking points (the first set of which was adapted from information provided by the Coalition for DSM-5 Reform, a psychologists’ organization that has amassed more than 13,000 signatures on a petition calling the DSM-5 into question): 

May 6:
“Imagining a Different Future in Mental Health!” Hear three inspiring speakers: Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic and Mad in AmericaJim Gottstein, Esq., founder of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights; and Jacki McKinney, MSW, award-winning advocate and trauma expert. Their presentations will be followed by a Q&A session facilitated by Joseph Rogers, executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. The doors open at 1:30 p.m.; the event will begin at 2:00 p.m. It will take place in the main chapel of the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany, 330 S. 13 Street, between Spruce and Pine streets, Philadelphia. This event is free! All are welcome! 
Here is a link that leads to flyers about each of the events. 
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is a consumer-run national technical assistance center funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
PMHCA’s 24th Annual Statewide Conference, Recovery Unlimited: Rising Above Challenges, will be held June 5- 7, 2012 at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel. For information about conference and registration, visit 


The views, opinions, and content on the Clearinghouse website and in anything posted on the website or in these e-mails or attached to these e-mails do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Sharing Life

Sharing Life is small group of committed individuals who identified the need for re-engagement opportunities for persons in the community who have been discharged from a State Hospital. Sharing Life offers monthly lunches with live entertainment and educational initiatives. These events are community based and everyone is welcome. There are no requirements or restrictions and attendees do not need to have been served at a State facility.

Sharing Life hopes that individuals attending these events will find acceptance back into their community as well as purpose. A goal of Sharing Life is to become a self-sustaining initiative where individuals, community members, churches and merchants join the planning and operating of events while sustaining its future.

Members donate time and money; prepare, cook and serve the lunches; and purchase Bingo prizes. Sharing Life has received considerable monetary support and donations from St. Mark’s Church and its parishioners.

Sharing Life has just completed its first fundraising event with the support from individuals with lived experiences. 150 Wixon’s Famous Shoo Fly Pies were sold, raising $480.

Future plans entail, presenting the I’m The Evidence Campaign in April and conducting additional fundraisers.

Sharing Life always welcomes folks to sign up as Ambassadors for this campaign. If interested please contact:

Connie J. Hammann

The Advocacy Alliance

External Advocate Project Manager

Mental Health Advocate Community Transition



PCPA Behavioral Health Budget Position: Behavioral Health Budget Cuts

PCPA Decries Dismantling of Behavioral Health System and Devastating Budget Cuts

For over 40 years, Pennsylvania state government has built one of the best, if not the best, systems of public behavioral health care in the country, effectively serving Pennsylvanians of all ages. State institutions have been closed or downsized, community providers have built local services, peer services have been incorporated into the available array of services, and movement to a model focused on recovery and resiliency has progressed. The proposed state budget – with massive cuts and a major public policy shift to a block grant funding model – promises to devastate the current system and poses significant risks to those most in need of commonwealth support. The Corbett administration has abdicated its long-term responsibility for and commitment to care for people with mental illness and substance use disorders. Promises made to vulnerable citizens and to communities will be broken.

The Block Grant
The Corbett budget creates significant problems for the behavioral health system. The administration is proposing a massive redistribution of funds from several budget lines into a new human services block grant, along with major reductions to these funds. The proposed block grant displays a lack of awareness of legal, historical, and operational processes and precedents. Behavioral health funds are used as the primary underpinning to support the human services block grant. Approximately 73 percent of the block grant is comprised of funds that were previously dedicated to behavioral health services.

Furthermore, the proposed block grant marks a major shift in public policy that was developed with little or no outside or stakeholder input. There appears to have been little, if any, utilization of industry experts. The process lacks the typical approaches used to develop sound public policy and the result is, therefore, flawed public policy. Funding streams for these services have been carefully thought out over the years, informed by a wide range of stakeholders, experts, and past administrations. Systemic changes have taken place through transparent public processes of deliberations, educated by the realities of consumers, families, and communities. The promise of flexibility and opportunities for better integration of programs and services has some merit, but this model is untested. Looting the commonwealth’s behavioral health system that has a proven track record of success to sustain other categorical programs is wrong and laden with great risk. The massive transfer of behavioral health funds to the Human Services Development Fund, with promise of flexible spending, will decimate the infrastructure that has developed over multiple administrations. The proposed block grant is wrong and must be opposed.

Promises Not Kept
Over a 25 year period, the commonwealth has repeatedly moved to improve the lives of individuals facing the challenges of mental illness. Promises were made that individuals could live meaningful lives in the community, rather than in isolation in an institution. With the closure of each state institution or downsizing though the Community/Hospital Integration Projects Program (CHIPP) promises were made to individuals and communities that the commonwealth would maintain these services and supports. Communities across Pennsylvania were repeatedly promised that care would be provided and individuals would not be “dumped” into the streets, the jails, or emergency rooms in community hospitals. The Olmstead Plan for Pennsylvania’s State Mental Health System details how the “Department of Public Welfare will work with counties to plan for the development of a broad array of integrated options to meet the needs of consumers.” It also acknowledges the fiscal and social costs of failing to provide the necessary supports and services that far outweigh the costs of paying for these supports and services. In spite of the well acknowledged fact that persons with mental illnesses can live successfully in their communities at a cost significantly less than services provided in institutions, the Corbett administration has reneged on these promises and shifted the burden back to local communities for care that is a state responsibility. The Corbett administration must keep the promises of prior administrations, both Republican and Democratic, to adequately serve people outside of institutions and to assure local communities they will be safe and free from the significant cost burdens of good local care.

The Funding Cuts
The Corbett budget proposes massive cuts to the behavioral health service system and the General Assistance program which provides support and services to individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders. These cuts were made without regard to severe consequences such as increased incarceration and homelessness and the elimination of life-sustaining services. These cuts were made ignoring the devastation it will bring to the critical services provided to Pennsylvania’s most needy.

The budget proposes a cut of $123.08 million for behavioral health services. That includes Community Mental Health appropriation – $110.02 million; Behavioral Health Services Initiative -$9.58 million; Act 152 Drug and Alcohol appropriation – $2.99 million; and Special Pharmaceuticals appropriation – $.49 million. The proposed block grant lacks sufficient detail for other analysis, although there have been consistent reports that counties will be freed of matching fund requirements, which would mean another potential loss of $14.1 million in county matching funds. Since counties will be free to transfer funds to needed areas, even a transfer of 5 percent of the behavioral health funds is another potential loss of $27.5 million.
PCPA is working to determine the impact of the $170.3 million cut to General Assistance-related Medical Assistance coverage. It has been estimated that as much of one third of the General Assistance program funding made treatment possible for those with mental illness and substance use disorders, a possible impact of as much as $51.09 million. The reduction of the cash component of the General Assistance program will also impact behavioral health consumers. The total potential cuts to behavioral health may approach $200 million.
It is recognized that these are difficult times for the state’s budget. However, the proposed cuts are excessive and devastating to the system. These cuts target the truly needy. They will hurt individuals who have long been the responsibility of the state, dating back to its founding. These vulnerable individuals should not be sacrificed during this time of more limited resources, but should be among the first that are protected. These cuts must be restored!

Action Steps:
1.        Contact Mental Health/Intellectual Disability county administrators, Single County Authorities, and county commissioners to explore possible avenues of joint  action. Discuss and demonstrate the devastating effects on services.

2.        Contact legislators in the district to communicate the impact of these devastating cuts and policy shifts.

3.        Contact local media – write an op-ed or a letter to the editor. Tell your story!

4.        Come to Harrisburg for PCPA’s Capitol Day on June 5.

5.        Watch for additional announcements and alerts from PCPA about further actions needed.

In summary, the block grant is wrong and must be stopped; promises made to consumers and to communities must be kept; and the massive cuts must be restored.

Marian Community Hospital Closing

Marian Community Hospital Closing

Wayne County Office of Mental Health/Mental Retardation/Early Intervention would like to inform the community and other partners that the Marian Community Hospital closing has necessitated changes in the delivery of Wayne County Mental Health Crisis Intervention Services, effective Friday, February 17th at 7:00 am.

Wayne County Office of Mental Health continues to maintain a contract with Northwestern Human Services (NHS) to provide these services. With the closure of Marian, these crisis services will now be provided at Mid-Valley Hospital. This should provide a relatively transparent change, as all other service provisions, with the exception of the change in hospital location, will remain the same.

Crisis Services may be accessed by calling Northwestern Human Services Honesdale Office at (570)253-0321 or Carbondale Office at (570)282-1732. These numbers are available 24/7. As always, in the case of a life threatening emergency, call 911 ñrst.

Should you experience any difficulties with this change or with mental health crisis services, please feel free to contact our office so we can address these difficulties and work towards continuing to improve our services.