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Advocacy: The act of speaking, acting, or writing in support of a cause or idea in order to defend the rights, needs, and interests of a person or group of people who are disadvantaged by society.

Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association provides and participates in individual and systems advocacy for people in Pennsylvania who have, or are recovering from, mental illness.

Support Gov. Wolf's budget. Urge Your Representatives to Agree

Do you want more money for the community mental health system - more money for counties and providers to serve us in our communities?

If yes, contact your Pennsylvania General Assembly members today!

Use the power of your voice.

Use your voice to increase funding for community mental health and for treatment for people with drug and alcohol addiction.

Tell your legislators you want them to support Governor Wolf's budget. Increasing state revenues is necessary for Pennsylvania citizens of all ages who need some help in their lives.

Talking points to use when you call or email your legislator:

Governor Wolf's budget would provide:

The budget passed by the state legislature:

Urge your legislators to reach a final agreement that provides necessary funding for mental health, substance use disorder treatment and other human services essential to the lives of many Pennsylvanians.

Mental Health Legislation Flies in the Face of the Federal Government's Efforts to Promote Community Integration - and Would Send the Mental Health Systems Decades Backward

H.R. 3717 - Rep. Tim Murphy's (R-PA) mental health legislation flies in the face of the federal government's efforts to promote community integration, and would send mental health systems decades backward.

H.R. 3717 would destroy the main system of legal representation for Americans with psychiatric disabilities, would strip away privacy rights, would incentivize needless hospitalization and civil rights violations, and would redirect federal funds from effective, voluntary community services to high-cost, forced treatment, including involuntary outpatient commitment.

Learn more:

In partnership with other disability groups, the Bazelon Center in conjunction with National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery and the National Disabilities Rights Network drafted a detailed press statement: Mental Health Advocates Blast Rep. Tim Murphy's Bill as a Costly Step Backward, to the Days When a Mental Illness Diagnosis Was a Life Sentence, addressing Rep. Murphy's H.R. 3717.

H.R. 3717 - Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis

Members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities also expressed concerns.

Why are so many mentally ill people imprisoned in Pennsylvania?

From article in Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, August 2, 2015.

Lynn Keltz, executive director of Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association, a group that represents people with mental illnesses, is deeply skeptical. Keltz, an ardent supporter of the closure of state hospitals, said that even if PennLive's figures on mental illness in the correctional system in 2014 are correct, she believes there's no historical research to prove that they've grown over time. Read more ...

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Did you know that parity in health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorder benefits with medical and surgical benefits is the law? Read more ....

SNAP (foodstamp) asset test eliminated!

Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary Ted Dallas, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services eliminated the asset test for foodstamps. Under the asset test program many people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians were removed from the SNAP program and lost much needed foodstamps.

The asset test has been eliminated as of April 27, 2015.

The asset test was adopted in 2012 by the former Gov. Tom Corbett's administration. It restricted the amount of assets families could have to qualify for food stamps, otherwise known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Health Law PA News: A Publication of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project

Posted January 12, 2015

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has provided a newsletter with up to date information that is helpful to people searching for medical insurance coverage.

Most of Pennsylvania’s 1.1 million adult Medicaid recipients will not be adversely affected by the Healthy PA benefit changes that started on January 1, 2015 ... continue reading newsletter.

Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program Saved

Posted July 25, 2014

Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Secretary Beverly Mackereth announced on July 24, 2014 that DPW has shelved the planned elimination of the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program. The program was scheduled to end effective January 1, 2015.

PMHCA advocated to maintain MAWD, within our comments against establishment of Healthy PA. PMHCA encourages the PA Department of Public Welfare to expand Medicaid now.

MAWD provides health coverage to over 34,000 working Pennsylvanians with disabilities who don’t qualify for other categories of Medical Assistance, usually due to their earnings. It provides an important incentive for people with disabilities to work and still keep their Medical Assistance coverage. It allows individuals with disabilities to work without fear of losing their critically important health insurance coverage, including personal assistance services and other supports they need to get and keep a job and remain in the community.

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project worked closely with numerous disability organizations and individuals on MAWD to highlight how eliminating this program would have a devastating effect. Our advocacy efforts included drafting and coordinating comments to state and federal officials by many disability organizations and the Consumer Subcommittee of the Medical Assistance Advisory Committee, assisting affected individuals in drafting their own comments, and providing information to stakeholders.

PMHCA applauds the decision by Secretary Mackereth and the Corbett Administration to continue the MAWD program. MAWD provides vital health coverage and community supports for working Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

Membership in PMHCA

One of the benefits of membership in the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association is being included on the membership email list. All members receive emails with timely information on policy and legislative issues and action alerts, notice of trainings, conferences and Mental Health recovery employment opportunities throughout the state. Become a member today.