— Individuals in need of mental health services, and the health care professionals providing care to them, are one step closer to accessing $100 million that would expand services and resources, thanks to a bipartisan vote on the House floor, says Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon).
“As the Republican Chairman of the House Human Services Committee, I was happy to work on a compromise for the allocation of federal funding for adult mental health,” said Heffley. “I realize so many individuals live with mental health issues, and it was only exacerbated by the pandemic. My hope is this funding will help those individuals in their time of need.”
House Bill 849
comes on the heels of Act 54 of 2022
, which established the Behavioral Health Commission for Adult Mental Health, a 24-person commission tasked with providing recommendations to the General Assembly on how to appropriate $100 million in one-time American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to address adult behavioral health needs in Pennsylvania.
This legislation addresses three main issue areas of workforce, criminal justice and public safety and mental health support and services. The breakdown of the funding is as follows:
$34 million to workforce development and retention, including apprenticeships and loan forgiveness for practitioners working in behavioral health settings.
$31.5 million to expand criminal justice and public safety programs, transitional pre-arrest diversion programs and more education and outreach on gun violence and victim services.
$18 million for capital projects to establish or improve behavioral health facilities
$10 million for collaborative care, providing psychiatrists and psychologists to assist primary care physicians with mental health treatment.
$3.5 million for grants to develop peer-led mental health and substance use disorder services.
$3 million for telehealth technical assistance, equipment updates and expansions into rural areas.
Rep. Heffley Discusses the Passage of HB 849, in this video
Representative Doyle Heffley
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Melissa Fox
RepHeffley.com / Facebook.com/RepHeffley