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Women's Health and Advocacy

Mental health is an issue that can touch anyone’s life. Whether you yourself have struggled with mental health, or know a friend, family member or loved one who has needed support, it’s clear that mental health services are an integral part of overall health and wellness. And while supporting mental health can look different for everyone, we know that access to quality care, resources and support systems is a universal need throughout our country.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) theme is “Together for Mental Health.” 

To recognize MHAM, the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness (NAMI) is encouraging individuals and organizations across the country to use this time to bring our voices together to advocate for mental health and access to care. They believe together, we can realize our shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

During Mental Health Awareness Month, Pennsylvania Senate Democrats are raising awareness about the many resources, helplines and programs that are available in the commonwealth for those struggling with mental health. Help is out there. Whether issues stem from depression, cultural trauma, PTSD, changes due to COVID-19, LGBTQ+ experiences, substance use disorder, or other addictions and illnesses, there are advocates and professionals that are a phone call or click away.

PA Support & Referral Helpline

1-855-284-2494

Mental Health in America

1 in 6

adolescents experienced a major depressive episode in 2020

1 in 5

adults experienced mental illness in 2020

1 in 3

young adults experienced mental illness in 2020

%

of adults with mental illness did not receive treatment in 2020

The average delay between symptom onset & treatment for mental illness is

11 years

Suicide is the

second

leading cause of death among

10-34 year-olds

Maternal Mental Health

May is also recognized as Maternal Mental Health month, a time to increase awareness about mental health and the well-being of mothers during pregnancy and the time period shortly after giving birth.

In Pennsylvania, the Women’s Health Caucus (WHC) has been advocating for the development and implementation of legislation and social policy that protects and respects women’s health, including mental health and wellness.

 Just this past summer, the WHC was proud to support the Wolf Administration’s decision to extend medical assistance coverage to 12 months postpartum. Starting April 1, 2022, mothers now have access to vital medical care like screening and treatment for chronic conditions, mental health services, breastfeeding support, preventative care, substance use disorder treatment, and access to family planning services for a full year postpartum.

Measures like this prioritize the mental health of new mothers and the overall health of mother and child. Supporting legislation, policy changes, and investments in maternal mental health is a top concern of the WHC and Senate Democrats. We will continue to fight for quality care that takes into account the whole health experience of women and motherhood.  

Did You Know

One in seven women experience significant symptoms of depression or anxiety during their pregnancy or in the year following delivery

Additional Resources and Advocacy

Crisis Text Line: Get 24/7 help from the Crisis Text Line. Text PA to 741741 to start the conversation.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you or someone you care about is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call the Lifeline at 800-273-8255. [Español: 888-628-9454.]

PA Crisis Hotlines: Find a crisis line in your county. Reaching out for help is the right thing to do. You are not alone.

Find Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the Department of Drug and Alcohol website.

Women’s Health Caucus
Planned Parenthood Western Pennsylvania
Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania