Legislation sponsored by Rep. Tom Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) to directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to undertake a study on access to community mental health services for Pennsylvania families has unanimously passed the House.
“While our county mental health agencies and their contracted providers try to stretch the dollars we make available, we need a better grasp on how the resources we’ve made available are being used for Pennsylvania families in need,” Murt said.
House Resolution 515
directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study the key issues relating to this, including the amount of money allocated by each county for contracted services, the number of people receiving community mental health services, and how much money each county mental health agency spends to administer these services.
“We also need follow-up data on the living conditions and mental health status of individuals transferred out of community residential services,” Murt said.
The legislation would ensure the study of how short-term private psychiatric facilities are utilized, what delays in service occur for new admissions, how many inmates with mental health needs are housed in our prisons and the use of hospital emergency rooms by individuals in a mental health crisis.
“Every year we are asked to increase funding for those with special needs,” Murt said. “But to do that we need an accurate accounting of the how the money we allocate now is being used.”
The bill moves on to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Thomas P. Murt, Ed.D.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster