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Advocacy: The act of speaking, acting, or writing in support of a cause or idea in order to defend the rights, needs, and interests of a person or group of people who are disadvantaged by society.

Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association provides and participates in individual and systems advocacy for people in Pennsylvania who have, or are recovering from, mental illness.

Why are so many mentally ill people imprisoned in Pennsylvania?

From article in Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, August 2, 2015.

Lynn Keltz, executive director of Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association, a group that represents people with mental illnesses, is deeply skeptical. Keltz, an ardent supporter of the closure of state hospitals, said that even if PennLive's figures on mental illness in the correctional system in 2014 are correct, she believes there's no historical research to prove that they've grown over time. Read more ...

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Did you know that parity in health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorder benefits with medical and surgical benefits is the law? Read more ....

SNAP (foodstamp) asset test eliminated!

Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary Ted Dallas, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services eliminated the asset test for foodstamps. Under the asset test program many people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians were removed from the SNAP program and lost much needed foodstamps.

The asset test has been eliminated as of April 27, 2015.

The asset test was adopted in 2012 by the former Gov. Tom Corbett's administration. It restricted the amount of assets families could have to qualify for food stamps, otherwise known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program Saved

Posted July 25, 2014

Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Secretary Beverly Mackereth announced on July 24, 2014 that DPW has shelved the planned elimination of the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program. The program was scheduled to end effective January 1, 2015.

PMHCA advocated to maintain MAWD, within our comments against establishment of Healthy PA. PMHCA encourages the PA Department of Public Welfare to expand Medicaid now.

MAWD provides health coverage to over 34,000 working Pennsylvanians with disabilities who don’t qualify for other categories of Medical Assistance, usually due to their earnings. It provides an important incentive for people with disabilities to work and still keep their Medical Assistance coverage. It allows individuals with disabilities to work without fear of losing their critically important health insurance coverage, including personal assistance services and other supports they need to get and keep a job and remain in the community.

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project worked closely with numerous disability organizations and individuals on MAWD to highlight how eliminating this program would have a devastating effect. Our advocacy efforts included drafting and coordinating comments to state and federal officials by many disability organizations and the Consumer Subcommittee of the Medical Assistance Advisory Committee, assisting affected individuals in drafting their own comments, and providing information to stakeholders.

PMHCA applauds the decision by Secretary Mackereth and the Corbett Administration to continue the MAWD program. MAWD provides vital health coverage and community supports for working Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

Membership in PMHCA

One of the benefits of membership in the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association is being included on the membership email list. All members receive emails with timely information on policy and legislative issues and action alerts, notice of trainings, conferences and Mental Health recovery employment opportunities throughout the state. Become a member today.