Pennsylvania bill would help connect families with mental health service

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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would allow schools to connect families with community mental health resources.

House Bill 2331 would amend the Human Services Code to instruct the state Department of Health, in consultation with the Department of Education, to create a central online clearinghouse available on publicly accessible Internet.

The clearinghouse would provide a registry of mental health care resources available and allow school personnel to learn about and take advantage of existing programs and resources.

“Too many children struggle with untreated mental health issues, and it can be difficult for schools to provide them with the necessary care and services. This bill would create a critical network to help schools, communities, and health care providers share information about mental health resources and programs,” state Rep. John Galloway (D-Bucks), who introduced the bill, said. “I’m grateful to my colleagues for their support, and I hope the Senate will consider this legislation quickly. It’s time we make sure students receive the care they need.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five children 13 years old or younger has a mental health condition, but less than half receive mental health care.

Galloway also has sponsored legislation to create a statewide children’s mental health ombudsman.

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