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Mental Health Services

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NEWS
October 3, 1990 | BY LEE JUNKER
Contrary to a national survey recently released on the status of mental health services, we believe Pennsylvania has made progress, and Philadelphia, in particular, will soon be on the cutting edge of community health services in the country. A biennial report published by the Public Citizen Health Group in conjunction with NAMI (a family advocacy group) labeled our state as one of the most "hopeless in the country," despite the fact that Pennsylvania had moved from 20th place in the 1988 ranking to 11th in this year's report!
NEWS
May 27, 2013 | By Kate Giammarise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HARRISBURG - A number of Pennsylvania state legislators are opposing a Department of Corrections plan to outsource mental health services at 27 state prisons, saying it could put prison workers and communities at risk. The state could contract out as many as 187 positions now filled by Department of Corrections employees to save money and improve services, according to corrections spokeswoman Susan McNaughton. The positions include licensed psychologist managers, licensed psychologists, and psychological services specialists.
NEWS
May 19, 1994 | By Walter F. Roche Jr., INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A new health-care program that the state wants to set up for 650,000 poor people could result in excess profits for the private firms that will run it while cutting mental-health services for the needy, the Philadelphia health commissioner said yesterday. Testifying in Commonwealth Court, Commissioner Estelle Richman said preliminary discussions with the companies seeking contracts to run the program show that the amount allotted for mental-health services could be slashed by millions of dollars.
NEWS
February 26, 2001 | By Alicia A. Caldwell INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Emily Plewes, 10, was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years after she first started getting psychiatric treatment.Three years later, her sister, Sarah, now 7, was diagnosed with autism and mental retardation. Only 2 years old when they began treatment, both now take psychiatric medications and require constant, intense care. Their parents, who also have an infant son, face decades of long-term treatment for their daughters. In a letter read Friday afternoon to other parents and Pennsylvania legislators, Lynn Plewes of Warminster said she and her husband were always battling for mental-health and mental-retardation services for their daughters.
NEWS
June 19, 1992 | By Wanda Motley and Robert Zausner, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
The Casey administration has blocked a plan that could reap as much as $50 million in extra federal funding for mental health services without costing the state a dime. The plan has been in the works more than a year and would seek to tap a one-time allotment of federal money for day treatment for non-hospitalized psychiatric patients. Work on the plan is finished, and it had to be submitted to Washington by the end of this month. But Budget Secretary Michael H. Hershock has refused to sign his approval, which is needed because the program is administered through the state.
NEWS
June 19, 2000 | By Mark McDonald , Daily News Staff Writer
David Richman, the attorney representing inmates in the long-running prison population case before U.S. District Judge Norma Shapiro, says the city prison system's arrangement of medical and mental-health programs "is a stupid set-up. " Long ago, the prison system privatized many of its professional functions. Prison Health Services, a subsidiary of America Service Group of Brentwood, Tenn., holds the medical services contract and Tenet Health Care holds the mental-health contract.
NEWS
September 20, 1996 | By Huntly Collins, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
State welfare officials announced yesterday that they planned to contract directly with counties in the Philadelphia area to provide mental-health services to poor people on Medicaid. The program, which is to begin Jan. 1, will be worth $2.3 billion over five years for Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Mongomery Counties. State officials had no breakout of the budget by county but indicated that most of the money would go to Philadelphia because it had the most Medicaid clients.
NEWS
March 5, 2012
By Jerry Ratcliffe Gov. Corbett's proposed cuts in funding for mental-health and other social services in the city have wider implications that should worry Philadelphians. Mental-health services make communities safer by reducing public disorder and the demand for police services. As such, the governor's proposed $41 million cut to these services in Philadelphia will not equate to real savings. It will only shift costs to already-stretched local emergency rooms, courts, prisons, and police.
NEWS
June 26, 1997 | by Jonathan Stein and Richard Weishaupt
The articles on the Medicaid mental-health rip-off mills serving the Latino community of North Philadelphia serve a public interest in exposing alleged white-collar crimes, but defeat that end by ignoring the root cause of the problem, namely lack of adequate bilingual mental-health services. By also implying via anecdote that the vital Supplemental Security Income child-disability program is beset by systemic fraud, the articles do harm to the very children whose lives depend on this program.
NEWS
November 10, 1997 | BY MARIS MENIN
Imagine being told by your doctor that he or she can use only seven stitches to sew up a severe cut requiring 30. While this may seem farfetched, it is similar to the type of limitation people face when they seek psychiatric services. Fortunately, people suffering from a physical illness are entitled to treatment until they are well or their chronic illness is manageable. Unfortunately, patients with mental disorders are not. Many patients who suffer with this lifetime affliction are restricted in the number of therapeutic sessions or length of in-patient care.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 2, 2016
By Jim Cawley Last week, Pennsylvania officially moved on from its historic nine-month budget impasse. Gov. Wolf's decision to let the latest budget offering become law brings an end to a long and painful time for the health and human services community and, most importantly, for those who rely on us for support. But it's difficult to feel any great sense of relief. As we head into negotiation season for the next budget, there are many lessons to learn from this chapter in our commonwealth's history.
NEWS
January 19, 2016 | By Susan Snyder, Staff Writer
For more than 150 years, Pennsylvania State University's departing senior class has given a gift to the university: a solar panel, a green roof, sculpture, signs, and scholarships. This year, seniors voted for a less visible project, yet one they hope will have a lasting impact. They will donate what could be as much as $250,000 for an endowment to support mental-health services at the university. Senior Ramon Guzman Jr., 20, a Central High graduate from Philadelphia who is executive director of the senior class gift campaign, wept when he learned the results of the vote.
NEWS
October 13, 2015
PSYCHIATRISTS, psychologists, therapists, social workers and other mental health care practitioners, rejoice: It appears a lot of elected officials, including a remarkable number of conservatives, have your back. Since the shooting at Umpqua Community College that left 10 dead earlier this month, there has been a steady drumbeat of calls for better care for the mentally ill. For a moment, let's assume it's a genuine concern and not what doctors might describe as a defense mechanism - as in, "The National Rifle Association won't allow me to advocate for universal background checks on gun purchases, so what can I say to sound sympathetic after a mass shooting?"
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
There were many times during Khasiem Carr's tumultuous journey through Pennsylvania's mental health and prison systems when it seemed things couldn't get worse. Then, they generally did. For instance, after two months in solitary confinement at the Bucks County prison, Carr was refusing food and water, and was rushed to the hospital to be treated for dehydration and malnutrition. After more than a year in solitary, he entered a guilty plea in hope of getting out of the hole and into mental-health care in a state prison.
NEWS
July 26, 2014 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
His mother sells empanadas from their home in Honduras. He shines shoes - $5 a day. Add to their woes the constant threats: Join or be killed by deadly gangs. Now, gap-toothed Kevin, 14, is atop a speeding Mexican train called "the Beast," aiming to cross the U.S. border illegally, to face new uncertainties amid the "big towers" and "great cities" he sees on TV. Officials say tens of thousands of children like him are fleeing Central America, primarily Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
NEWS
June 22, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Six months into the Affordable Care Act, local mental-health and substance-abuse professionals have yet to see an uptick in clients using their new benefits. The seeming lack of interest has been disappointing for caregivers, but is not completely unexpected. "It's very early," said Patricia Kleven, director of outpatient mental health services at the Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment. "I don't know what it will look like in six months or a year. But at the moment, not so much.
NEWS
June 19, 2014 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
Marvae Dunn had no business being in prison. He is severely mentally ill. At age 64, he can barely speak or follow simple instructions. How could he stand trial on first-degree murder charges of shooting his sister-in-law? He never did, yet Dunn's home for seven years was a Philadelphia prison infirmary, until advocates intervened. He was transferred Monday to a state nursing home in Franklin County. "We're subsidizing failure," said his prison chaplain, Phyllis Taylor. The legal system failed Dunn and the taxpayers who bore the cost of his imprisonment.
NEWS
February 24, 2014 | By Ilene Raymond Rush, For The Inquirer
Everyone has ups and downs, but there are times when parents may notice their college-age children are showing signs of real trouble and need a therapist. It might be as obvious as a drop in school performance, or as subtle as a sudden and consistent mood change. But unlike a physical ailment, in which parents could consult a doctor, mental health issues often carry a stigma, and parents may be reluctant to send an overstressed or depressed child to a therapist. They may not know where to look for one. Or money may be an issue.
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia children on Medical Assistance are waiting twice as long as they are supposed to for behavioral-health appointments, according to a report released Thursday by Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY). The youth-advocacy organization surveyed nearly 60 agencies that provide mental-health services to children on Medical Assistance, the state health insurance program for low-income people. It found that the average wait for an initial appointment was 15 days. The report said the agencies' contract with Community Behavioral Health, which administers mental-health services for the city, required agencies to make such appointments within seven days.
NEWS
May 27, 2013 | By Kate Giammarise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HARRISBURG - A number of Pennsylvania state legislators are opposing a Department of Corrections plan to outsource mental health services at 27 state prisons, saying it could put prison workers and communities at risk. The state could contract out as many as 187 positions now filled by Department of Corrections employees to save money and improve services, according to corrections spokeswoman Susan McNaughton. The positions include licensed psychologist managers, licensed psychologists, and psychological services specialists.
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