On January 2nd, Governor Wolf announced Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters, an initiative to improve mental health in Pennsylvania. Read more about the plan. In response, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania President Matthew Yarnell released the following statement:
“We applaud the Governor’s initiative and fully support these efforts. With one million Pennsylvanians facing serious mental health issues and many of those not getting treatment due to stigma or lack of access to affordable care, our state is in the midst of a mental health crisis. Our members – nurses and other caregivers from hospitals, nursing homes, state agencies and home care – see the devastating impact that inadequate mental healthcare has on patients and families every day.
This comprehensive plan to decrease stigma through open dialogue, improve the mental healthcare workforce, and hold insurance companies accountable to adequately meeting federal and state requirements for mental health parity means that millions of people may finally be able to get the help they need to live the full life every person deserves. The connection between mental illness and poverty is well established, and we believe no one should be caught in that cycle. We hope the Reach Out PA initiative will provide a clear path for those who need it most.
As President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and also a parent, I appreciate the commitment to increasing mental health resources in our schools. By providing support and holistic services to our children, this plan could improve the overall wellbeing of the next generation of Pennsylvanians and families who are currently struggling.”