Wolf Administration Reminds Pennsylvanians of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Resources This Holiday Season

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Today, members of the Wolf Administration reminded Pennsylvanians of the resources available this holiday season for individuals and families affected by mental health and addiction disorders (SUD).

The departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), Health (DOH), Social Services (DHS), Aging (PDA) and the Governor’s Office for Advocacy and Reform have come together to strengthen the commitment of The Wolf administration to highlight mental health and trauma services and resources for substance use disorders that are available year-round, but often increasingly needed during the holiday season.

“It is a joyous time of the year, but it can also be a difficult time for many Pennsylvanians for many different reasons. During this holiday season, it is important to remind those dealing with grief, l ‘anxiety, isolation or substance abuse that no one is ever alone; there are always resources available to help, “said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith.” I urge all Pennsylvanians to offer their support to a friend or loved one who might need the courage to seek the help and resources they need and deserve. ”

The Pennsylvania Mental Health Resource Guide offers information on mental health screenings, finding a mental health professional, locating a SUD treatment provider, resources for insecurity of the housing, help with trauma due to racism, and help contacting help desks in your county and applying for benefits.

National lifeline for suicide prevention

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provide free, confidential emotional support, in English and Spanish, to people in suicidal crisis or in emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Localized text is also available through the Crisis Text Line, offering free 24/7 assistance by texting “PA” to 741741.

Public aid programs

DHS encourages Pennsylvanians who are struggling to meet their basic needs to apply for programs that can help them meet their basic needs during the winter months. Programs including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Cash Assistance, Medical Assistance, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Consumer Assistance Program Low Income Home Energy (LIHEAP) and Emergency Rent Assistance Program (ERAP) and other programs can be requested anytime at www.compass.state.pa.us. For more information on the assistance programs available to help Pennsylvanians, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

“The holidays are here, and while it can be a joyous time for so many, the ongoing pandemic continues to wreak havoc in different ways, especially as we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases again. “Many of us face change, loss, burnout and stress. Know that if you are going through difficult times, you don’t have to carry those feelings alone,” said Acting DHS Secretary Meg Snead . “These services are there to help us get through tough times – please let them help you, or share them with someone you love who needs a helping hand.”

Assistance and referral line

Free resources are available to help Pennsylvanians with mental health needs and connect to longer term support in their community. Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues can contact the toll-free 24/7 helpline at 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600. Helpline staff are trained to be accessible, culturally competent, and qualified to assist people with mental illness, developmental disabilities, concurrent disorders, other special needs, or anyone seeking help. ‘a compassionate and empathetic person to listen to. Staff are trained in trauma-informed care to listen, assess needs, triage calls, and provide appropriate referral to community resources for children, adolescents, adults and special populations, including historically marginalized groups and children. long-term behavioral health supports.

“The holiday season comes with expectations of joy and happiness, but not everyone experiences this time of year. Perhaps this year in particular, the need for being aware of trauma throughout the holidays is essential 2021 has been a time of great stress, fear and heartache for so many people, ”said Dan Jurman, executive director of the governor’s office for advocacy and reform. “We want to encourage Pennsylvania residents to be aware of the additional stressors while on vacation and the potentially difficult sensitivities of past and present experiences that can have a deep and pervasive impact on people this season.”

Get help now

Individuals seeking substance abuse treatment or recovery resources for themselves or a loved one can call the free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline is confidential, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and staffed by trained professionals who will connect callers with resources in their community. Appellants may also be eligible for funding if they need help paying for their treatment. A live chat option is also available online or via text message to 717-216-0905 for those looking for help and who might not be comfortable talking to a helpline operator.

“The hotline is available daily, including Christmas Eve and Day and New Years Eve and New Years,” Smith said. “Please feel free to contact and use this helpline. Whether you are recovering, seeking treatment for the first time, or need information on how you can help or support the journey. loved one, there’s always someone on the other end of the line to help you navigate the resources available throughout the holiday season and beyond. “


Naloxone is a drug that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug (i.e., prescription pain relievers or heroin). When given in an overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and restores breathing. A standing order from general practitioner Dr Denise Johnson allows quick access to the drug, as Pennsylvanians can get naloxone at local Commonwealth pharmacies. People can also receive naloxone at home when they take a short training course through a partnership with NEXT Distro.

“Naloxone training can be completed in minutes and the administration of naloxone is safe and does not require specialist medical knowledge,” said GP Dr. Denise Johnson. “We are committed to ensuring equal access to treatments, including naloxone in pharmacies, no matter where you live, because we know that substance use disorders affect all communities. Today, Pennsylvanians who are at risk of an opioid-related overdose, or who are family, friends, or others who can help someone at risk for an opioid-related overdose, can now get naloxone at their local pharmacy due to standing order from the Department of Health. “

Resources for Seniors

PA Link to Aging and Disability Resource Centers, also known as PA Link, helps older people and people with disabilities by providing them with information and connecting them with supports, including assistive technology to access telehealth services, registration calls and options to help reduce isolation. Any senior in need of assistance can contact the PA Link call center by phone at 1-800-753-8827 or online at www.carelink.pa.gov.

Additionally, Pennsylvania’s 52 Regional Aging Agencies (AAAs), spanning 67 counties in the Commonwealth of Nations, offer virtual and in-person activities, including health and wellness programs. Seniors can locate their local agency on aging here.

“Seniors who feel depressed or isolated may experience a decline in their physical well-being and quality of life. The Department of Aging and our AAA Network are committed to helping Pennsylvania seniors maintain good mental health During the holiday season, if a senior is struggling emotionally or mentally, we want them to understand that they are not alone and that there are many resources to support them. safety – in person or virtually – with like-minded people to socialize and participate in activities. I encourage any senior who could benefit from these resources to contact us, “said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres.

DHS and PDA also want grandparents raising their grandchildren as well as other family members such as aunts, uncles and cousins, who find themselves caring for children who have lost. their parents, or whose parents are unable to be their primary caregiver, know that help is available through the KinConnector helpline. The helpline is made up of Kinship Navigators – compassionate and knowledgeable social service professionals ready to help families locate, understand and access resources that can help them during the holiday season. You can reach him by calling 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111) or online at kinconnector.org.

For more information on mental health and SOUTH treatment options in Pennsylvania, county resources, and the Wolf Administration’s efforts to connect individuals with mental and emotional support and local resources, visit pa .gov / mental-health.

CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA: Ali Gantz, DDAP, [email protected]
Brandon Cwalina, DHS, [email protected]
Mark O’Neill, DOH, [email protected]
Jack Eilber, PDA, agingcomms @ pa.gov

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