This Week in the Shapiro Administration: From Greensburg to Philadelphia, Governor Shapiro Highlights Comprehensive Approach to Supporting Pennsylvanians’ Mental Health
May 19, 2023
“We need a comprehensive approach to deliver real help for young people struggling with their mental health, and that’s why we need to work with parents, teachers, and mental health professionals to ensure those resources are available.”
“I am grateful for Governor Shapiro and his Administration because they are aware of this crisis and want to continue educating themselves and others and reach out to teenagers to create solutions”
Harrisburg, PA – This week, Governor Josh Shapiro highlighted his plans to ensure that Pennsylvania students have access to mental health resources in schools during a visit to Hempfield Area High School in Westmoreland County where he met with students, counselors, and teachers to hear about their experiences.
The Governor’s budget proposal includes $500 million over the next five years so schools can fund mental health counselors and services on site, $20 million in 2023-24 – growing to $60 million annually by 2027-28 – to restore mental health funding for Pennsylvania counties, and a $5 million investment for the 988 system while providing sustainable future funding for the 14-suicide prevention lifeline call centers throughout the Commonwealth.
The Governor and First Lady Lori Shapiro also hosted a National Governors Association roundtable event in Philadelphia with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Delaware Governor John Carney that brought frontline leaders in youth mental health care together to develop bipartisan solutions to address the growing youth mental health crisis.
Read what Governor Shapiro and Pennsylvanians are saying about supporting youth mental health:
- Governor Shapiro: “For too long, there has been a stigma around mental health care – but that’s changing with this generation. Students across the Commonwealth aren’t afraid to talk about their mental health, and that’s what I hear every day. We need a comprehensive approach to deliver real help for young people struggling with their mental health, and that’s why we need to work with parents, teachers, and mental health professionals to ensure those resources are available. Here in Pennsylvania, I’m proposing a $500 million investment in student mental health – and I look forward to working with Governor Murphy and my colleagues across the country to get young people the help they need.”
- Hempfield Area High School Principal Dr. David Palmer: “Our staff, students, administration, and school board directors would like to thank all of you for visiting us today, especially Governor Shapiro, to speak with our students regarding a very serious topic that is important to every school in the Commonwealth, and that topic would be mental health. We have seen an increased need for mental health services over the past several years, and we are always looking for ways to assist our students in this area. We have a passionate student body who are aware of this growing concern and want to do everything they can to help.”
- Hempfield Area High School Student Nick Miller: “I say with urgency that the mental health crisis in American teens needs to be addressed immediately. I am grateful for Governor Shapiro and his Administration because they are aware of this crisis and want to continue educating themselves and others and reach out to teenagers to create solutions.”
This comes as the Shapiro Administration takes further action to strengthen mental health parity in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
This week, at the direction of Governor Shapiro, Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys announced that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) has strengthened its review of mental health and substance use disorder coverage in 2024 health plans. This action will continue PID’s efforts to ensure Pennsylvanians have access to mental health care and treatment as required under our mental health parity protections.
See what Pennsylvanians are reading about Governor Shapiro’s plans to ensure that every Pennsylvanian has the mental health support and resources they need: