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Mental Health Awareness Event at the State Museum in Harrisburg PA this Thursday, 5/21 at 10 A.M.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Harrisburg – As part of its ongoing commitment to mental health awareness and education, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will host an event at 10 A.M. on Thursday, May 21 at the State Museum in Harrisburg.

The State of Mental Health” is a free discussion that will present the public with an understanding of how coordinated care is being used to treat eating disorders and mood and substance use disorders in the Commonwealth.

"Thousands of Pennsylvanians live with mental illness," said Acting Secretary Ted Dallas. "Through HealthChoices, they can get the care they need to live their lives."

In the United States today:

  • 1 in 4 Americans will experience mental illness
  • 1 in 4 has substance abuse in their families
  • 8.4 million Americans have co-occurring disorders, both a mental illness and substance use disorder
  • Only 7% get treatment for both conditions and 56% get no treatment at all.

“Individuals with eating disorders often abuse substances to cope with the painful feelings caused by a distorted body image and low self-esteem,” said Acting Department of Health (DOH) Physician General Rachel Levine. “Coordinated care addresses the whole person to restore individuals to good health.”   

Featured speakers at the event will include: Department of Health’s Acting Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ Dr. Kenneth J. Martz, DHS’ Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services’ Medical Director and Chief Psychiatric Officer Dr. Dale Adair, MD, and Chief of Staff Lynn Patrone.

The hour and a half event will be divided into three segments for speaker presentations, roundtable discussion, and a question-and-answer period. 

Event topics:

  • Dr. Rachel Levine will speak on eating disorders.
  • Lynn Patrone will speak on depression and other mood disorders and suicide prevention.
  • Dr. Kenneth J. Martz will speak on substance abuse.
  • Dr. Dale Adair will speak on coordinated care treatment in the Commonwealth.

The event is free and open to the press and public.

WHAT: Mental health presentation, roundtable and Q&A 

WHEN: Thursday, May 21, 2015; 10 - 11:30 A.M.

WHERE:  State Museum of Pennsylvania, 300 North St., Harrisburg 17120


Core Competencies in the Behavioral Health Workforce

Dear Colleagues:
In support of its strategic initiative priority areas of Recovery Supports and Workforce Development, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center (BRSS TACS) has identified and developed a draft set of core competencies for Peer Workers in Behavioral Health settings.


These core competencies are the foundational and essential competencies required by all positions that provide peer support in behavioral health services. The competencies are common across a range of roles and environments. This includes such providers as Peer Specialists, Recovery Coaches, Parent Support Providers, Youth Peer Support Providers, and others.

SAMHSA is providing the public an opportunity to review and make comments on these draft competencies. You are receiving this email because you are a key stakeholder in these areas. SAMHSA values your opinion and encourages you to review the document and provide feedback.

If you would like to review the competencies and provide feedback please click the following link: http://www.samhsa.gov/brss-tacs/core-competencies-peer-workers. We encourage you to read the brief overview of the core competencies and the Q&As before providing your comments.

Thanks in advance for expressing your views.

-The BRSS TACS team


Survey Opportunity

The Ohio Chapter of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association is collecting information about the peer support work place in neighboring states.  Please consider taking a few minutes to share your experiences as a CPS in Pennsylvania by completing the following survey:

Peer Support Work Place Survey




The Pennsylvania Peer Support Coalition is a statewide network of people who use their own experiences with mental health to support others. All Coalition members are people who use peer support skills to inspire hope that recovery from mental illness is possible.

We believe that everyone who offers peer support to others deserves support too. The Coalition offers this support. We provide trainings and education about peer support and recovery, and we help create peer support networking groups. We also advocate for the needs of people who provide peer support.

Many of our members are Certified Peer Specialists who provide peer support professionally in mental health agencies. However, it is not necessary to be a Certified Peer Specialist to join the Coalition. We welcome anyone who uses their own mental health recovery experiences to support others.

Become a Member

To learn more about becoming a member of the Coalition, visit our Coalition Membership page.

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