Mental Health in Pennsylvania
Written by State Rep. Mike Schlossberg
I’m proud to support our Democratic nominee, Josh Shapiro, for Governor of Pennsylvanians for a host of reasons — I believe in our democracy; I know Pennsylvanians need money returned to their pockets; I stand for a woman’s right to choose.
But amongst Josh’s long record of being a leader Pennsylvanians can count on, one piece of his work stands out to me: his relentless, determined advocacy for Pennsylvanians’ struggling with mental health issues, especially our students.
This issue is personal to me – as an undergraduate student at Muhlenberg College in Lehigh Valley, I almost made the decision to end my life.
Now, 20 years later, I get to serve the people of Allentown in the State House — and talk about ways to reduce stigma, depression rates, and suicide. I now get to partner with leaders like Governor Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro to ensure our communities have the resources and funding they need for mental health treatment in Pennsylvania.
From his first term as Attorney General, Josh has worked to answer the call he’s hearing from students across Pennsylvania — a call for funding, for support, and for help.
In a study, Safe2Say found that out of 80,000 comments, 72 percent focused on instances of bullying, suicide and self harm, mental illness, or discrimination.
Josh is calling for one guaranteed mental health counselor in every school building — and he’s been calling for it long before he ran for Governor. Just a week ago, Josh called on our state Legislature yet again to establish a sustained, broad, and year-on-year budget to fund it. Not only do I think this is important – it’s essential to ensuring our kids have access to trained professionals in every single school.
I’ll be the first to admit – I’m one of the lucky ones. I had the resources, health insurance, and a family who supported me. For so many Pennsylvanians, they don’t have the level of support that I was incredibly fortunate to have. But that’s exactly why we need to elect Josh to be a fighter for mental health and mental illness.
If you are reading this and you are feeling the weight of depression – my life is testimony that it gets better. Right now there are more people than you even realize that want to help you, and Josh Shapiro is certainly one of them.
Pennsylvania has a Mental Health Guide available to help find treatment, provide support in a crisis and identify services. To find support or better understand what help exists for people who need it, visit this link: Mental Health Resources for Pennsylvanians