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Pennsylvania Ranks Ninth Nationally for Overall Mental Health


Harrisburg, PA - Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas today announced that Pennsylvania ranked ninth in overall mental health in a recent Mental Health America (MHA) report – an improvement from a 2011 ranking of 15th.

MHA recently released its annual State of Mental Health Report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on several mental health and access measures. Pennsylvania’s overall ranking indicates a lower prevalence of mental illness and higher rates of access to care in comparison to most states. The report includes data about both adult and youth mental health, as well as prevalence and access to care measures:

       ·  One in five adults have a mental health condition - that is over 40 million Americans; more than the populations of New York and Florida combined.

       ·  Nationally, youth mental health is worsening, with rates of youth depression increasing from 8.5 percent in 2011 to 11.1 percent in 2014. Eighty percent of youth with severe depression were left with no or insufficient treatment.

       ·  Access to care is critical to getting Pennsylvanians the help they need. In 2014, fifty-six percent of American adults with a mental illness did not receive treatment. The access measures include access to treatment, insurance, and special education, quality and cost of insurance, and workforce availability.

“We often talk about how education, access to housing, and food all play factors in an individual’s shot at a successful future, but the treatment of mental health issues is another critical piece to that puzzle,” said Secretary Dallas. “While we are making progress, there is still work to be done. There are too many Pennsylvanians that are not receiving the treatment they need to live a happy and healthy life, and we are working to change that.”

The results show that nationally there is increased health care coverage, but states are still falling short in meeting the needs of those with mental health concerns.

The department continues its efforts to provide access to high-quality mental health services and to serve more people in the community. In October 2015, DHS was awarded a planning grant for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The department selected 10 locations, comprised of both rural and urban locations throughout the commonwealth. In December, SAMHSA is expected to grant eight demonstration state awards to test the effectiveness of this new model. If selected, Pennsylvania’s CCBHCs will be implemented in July 2017.

These clinics will allow individuals to access a wide array of services at one location, and remove the barriers that too often exist across physical and behavioral health systems. The increase in coordination and individualized care has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for the adults with serious mental illness, children with serious emotional disturbance, and individuals of all ages with substance use disorders that will be served by these community clinics.

The CCBHCs provide DHS with an opportunity to improve the commonwealth’s overall behavioral health service system, and move toward more integrated, coordinated, and person-centered care by:  

       ·  working with clinics to support regulatory changes;

       ·  focusing on alternative payment models that pay for outcomes, not just units of services;

       ·  helping clinics build capacity for services that are integrated; and

       ·  increasing the use of evidence-based models of services. 

For more information on CCBHCs, click here

MEDIA CONTACT: Rachel Kostelac - 717-425-7606

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