– State Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) and his colleagues on the House Human Services Committee have unanimously passed two pieces of legislation designed to improve access to mental health care in Pennsylvania.
“Delivering behavioral services to those who desperately need it remains a priority of mine,” Struzzi said. “I’m happy to see these bills, which I’m cosponsoring, advance without a single negative vote, which demonstrates how both sides of the aisle agree on the gravity of our mental health crisis.”
The committee moved these two bills to the full House for consideration:
House Bill 2686
- Would create a grant program to assist small medical practices in converting to an integrated care model that can deliver timely psychiatric care in the primary care setting.
“In what is referred to as the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM), a primary care provider leads a team which includes a consulting psychiatrist and behavioral health care manager,” commented Struzzi. “The team is assigned a group of patients to track using an evidence and measurement-based care plan.”
House Bill 2806
- Would establish a public awareness campaign for mental health services for first responders, health care workers and other front-line workers.
“Medical professionals, first responders and members of law enforcement have difficult jobs, and we need to do all we can to ensure those individuals on the front lines are taken care of themselves,” Struzzi added.
Struzzi is also working to move his House Bill 1644
through the legislative process.
“This legislation, which is sitting in a Senate committee, would develop a statewide process to place patients, enrolled in Medicaid, with behavioral health or other long-term care needs in appropriate care settings in a timely matter,” said Struzzi. “Nearly two million Pennsylvanians are believed to be battling mental illness, and almost as many are considered to be living in a community that does not have enough mental health professionals. These are problems we can no longer overlook.”
Questions about this or any legislative issue may be directed to Struzzi’s office at 1-724-465-0220.