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Monday, September 25, 2023
Contact: Maria Kakay
(Office) 412-366-3788
(Cell) 412-607-5412
Advocates Organize Grassroots Rally at
State Capitol for Increased Mental Health Funding


Harrisburg – On Wednesday, September 27, 2023, mental health advocates from across the state will hold a march and rally on the Capitol steps in Harrisburg to promote increased funding for mental health initiatives. Speakers include NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania CEO Christine Michaels, behavioral health consultant and mental health advocate Joan Erney, and Rep. Mike Schlossberg. The rally will address a number of topics, including the statewide shortage of mental health professionals.  

“People need to understand the real-life impact of the workforce shortage,” said Christine Michaels, CEO of NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania. “What are working parents supposed to do when their child keeps getting sent home from school because of their behavior and there is no one available to help? Some children are waiting 18 months for an initial appointment just to gather basic information and learn what services are available."

Other topics of discussion will include the importance of increasing mental health base funding, equal access for all, and how living wages save the lives of people in Pennsylvania.  

The gathering is a grassroots event that started as an idea in a support group meeting. “We were discussing how the legislature was not responding to the funding shortfalls and accessibility of mental health services,” said Owen Dougherty, event organizer and Board member of NAMI Northeast Region PA. “It has been a few years since the last rally at the Capitol and we decided that our voices needed to be heard.” 

After the rally, participants will march around the capitol and meetings with legislators will follow. A few hundred people from across the state are expected to attend. Registration is not required but appreciated: https://forms.gle/rVysCa8z5CvqnarT7. 



     10:00 a.m. Registration  

     10:30 a.m. Welcoming and opening remarks  

     10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Rally speakers: Rep. Mike Schlossberg, Christine Michaels, and Joan Erney 

     11:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. March/walk around the Capitol  

     12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch on your own  

     1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Scheduled meetings with legislators

Parking and additional march details can be found at https://tinyurl.com/HarrisburgMarchParking. 



MEDIA CONTACT:  Maria Kakay, Dir. of Communications and Marketing, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania    EMAIL:  mkakay@namikeystonepa.org  |   OFFICE: 412-366-3788  |   CELL: 412-607-5412


NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania is here for you. If you have questions about mental health resources, call our HelpLine at 1-888-264-7972 or email info@namikeystonepa.org. To find the NAMI affiliate in Pennsylvania closest to you, visit our Find Your Local NAMI page.

If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or thinking about hurting themselves, call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.


NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, adolescents, adults, and families affected by mental illness through recovery-focused support, education, and advocacy. Located in Pittsburgh, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania is the state organization for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization. 


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