– State Rep. Jamie Flick (R-Lycoming) is highlighting May as Mental Health Awareness Month to take the opportunity to educate people about mental illness, fight the stigma surrounding it and provide support for those suffering with it.
“As a member of the Mental Health Caucus as well as a member of the Human Services and Children and Youth Committees, I know how vitally important it is to ask for help, receive help and ensure help is available for the duration it is needed – for all Pennsylvanians,” said Flick. “It is equally important to note that mental illness is not a sign of personal failure or weakness. Like physical sicknesses, mental illnesses are medical conditions that can affect anyone and that can be treated with the appropriate care and support. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and we should encourage everyone who may suffer with mental health issues to get the care they need.”
This year, the National Alliance for Mental Illness’ (NAMI) theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is #MoreThanEnoughCampaign. This campaign seeks to highlight the inherent value each person holds, regardless of diagnosis, appearance, socioeconomic status, background or ability.
According to NAMI, one in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, with less than half receiving treatment. This was exacerbated by the pandemic, with millions unable to access needed care during that time and with significant increases in drug and alcohol use for both adults and youth.
Additionally, according to the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth lags behind the national average of health care providers per capita, with 53 of our 67 counties behind even the state average.
Throughout the budget process, House Republicans have advocated for funding for mental health services to address these issues and will continue to do so to ensure that Pennsylvanians can live happy, healthy lives.
Although mental illness affects everybody differently and each condition has its own unique set of symptoms, some common warning signs of mental illness include:
Extended periods of sadness and a lack of motivation.
Difficulty concentrating or learning.
Extreme mood changes.
Avoiding social contact.
Changes in sleeping and eating habits.
Hallucinations or delusions.
For more information on Mental Health Awareness Month and what you can do to raise awareness, please visit NAMI’s website
Flick noted that if someone is struggling, to call or text 988 to reach the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Support Hotline or visit the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) website
for a list of resources including additional information, crisis hotlines, online counseling and more.
Representative Jamie Flick
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jacob Misal