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Contact: Maria Kakay
(Office) 412-366-3788
(Cell) 412-607-5412
Public Statement of Support for Statewide Initiative
‘Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters’

On Thursday, Jan. 2, Governor Tom Wolf announced a focused multi-agency effort and anti-stigma campaign, ‘Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters,’ aimed at expanding resources and the state’s comprehensive support of mental health and related health care priorities in Pennsylvania. The governor announced several initiatives and reviews the administration will undertake for commonwealth agencies to bolster the effort. Further, over the coming weeks, agencies will announce additional initiatives. The governor was joined by mental health advocates, social workers, educators, military veterans, and cabinet secretaries in making the announcement. READ MORE

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania has issued the following statement of support:

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania applauds Gov. Wolf’s efforts to address the issues facing individuals and families affected by mental illness in Pennsylvania. More than 1.8 million adults in Pennsylvania have a mental health condition. That’s more than six times the population of Pittsburgh. The majority of those Pennsylvanians did not receive treatment in the past year. 

Access to mental health treatment and support, along with stigma, remain some of the biggest barriers for people experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. It is critical that people who need help get help. Yet, more than 1.6 million people in Pennsylvania live in a mental health professional shortage area. NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania has been a longtime advocate of addressing the workforce shortage that exists in the state. We have also advocated for mental health parity in order to ensure that health insurance coverage provides access to quality, affordable mental health care equal to physical health care. It is encouraging to see this is a priority at the state level.

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania and its 31 affiliates offer support groups for individuals and families affected by mental illness at no cost. We look forward to working with Gov. Wolf and state officials to spread the word that support does exist and you shouldn’t be ashamed to access resources.  

Stigma remains one of the largest influencers on whether people will take that first step in seeking help despite the fact that mental illness is common. One in five people will experience a mental health condition. NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania and affiliates work hard every day to combat stigma by raising awareness through support, education, and advocacy. 

It is also encouraging to see a priority being placed on the mental health needs of children and young adults. Fifty percent of mental illness begins by age 14. NAMI believes it is crucial to provide mental health support and resources in schools where children and adolescents spend so much of their time. NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania and affiliates work with schools across the state to deliver the NAMI Signature program, Ending The Silence, which is a free mental health awareness presentation to educate teenagers about the warning signs of mental illness and what steps to take if they (or a friend) are experiencing symptoms.

It is important to bring the conversation about mental health out in the open. NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania and affiliates look forward to participating in the roundtable discussions and we are looking forward to working with Gov. Wolf and state officials to make this initiative a success.


Christine Michaels, MSHSA 
CEO, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania

Statistics cited from https://www.namikeystonepa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/NAMI-Pennsylvania-State-Fact-Sheet-Final-2019.pdf.




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

ABOUT NAMI KEYSTONE PENNSYLVANIA  |  NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania is the state organization in Pennsylvania for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the largest grassroots mental health organization in the country. NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, adolescents, adults, and families affected by mental illness through recovery-focused support, education, and advocacy. More information is available at www.namikeystonepa.org or by calling (412) 366-3788.


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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. For crisis support 24/7, text NAMI to 741741.  To find the NAMI affiliate in Pennsylvania closest to you, click here.

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NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania
105 Braunlich Drive
Suite 200
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15237