PA House Representative Tom Murt spoke with members of the CSP Committee recently about mental health issues that individuals face ranging from the state budget stalemates to the value of peer support, and from parity to incarceration. Due to time limits there were some unanswered questions from the committee. Rep. Murt requested that the questions be forwarded to him and he would respond to them. Here are the questions and his responses.
Mental Health Questions for Rep. Tom Murt
From: The Montgomery County CSP Executive Committee
Dear Rep. Murt:
First, thank you very much for all of your efforts to improve mental health services in our communities. We appreciate your dedication and advocacy on behalf of the mental health community. We have developed a list of questions for you and we realize that you may not have answers or opinions on all of them.
- Will the budget include the 10 percent budget restoration?
- What are your thoughts about improving a access to services? For example: It can take between 4-6 weeks to see a psychiatrist, and Individuals leaving hospitals or jails don’t always get quickly connected to outpatient services and other community resources.
- Do you see progress in services for people with mental health and justice related services?
- Need for more extended acute care beds
- What do you think about using available vacant buildings for rehabilitation to treatment and support services?
- Your thoughts on step down/transitional housing for individuals leaving jail.
- There are programs in place at MCCF. Do you think the Legislature would provide funding for more reentry services?
4. Transportation for people with mental health disabilities is lacking. Will you advocate for more funding for services like Transnet?
5. How can we help?