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$120M for Mental Health: Gov. Josh Shapiro’s Investment in PA Schools – Check it Out!

$100M Investment in Mental Health for PA Schools

Gov. Josh Shapiro Allocates $120M to Boost Mental Health Services in Pennsylvania

According to Audacy, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro recently announced a major $100 million investment in mental health services in the state especially targeting students in K-12 schools. This move comes as part of Mental Health Awareness Month highlighting the urgent need to address mental health issues particularly among young Americans. During an interview on Audacy’s “Bubba Show” Gov. Josh Shapiro expressed his strong commitment to improving mental health services. “This is a real passion of mine” he said emphasizing that data in Pennsylvania shows a clear need for such an investment. The funding includes $100 million specifically for mental health services in schools which is crucial at a time when many districts across the U.S. struggle to hire and retain staff. An additional $20 million has been allocated for county mental health support in the state’s 2024-25 budget along with other funding for various mental health services.

Gov. Josh Shapiro pointed out that prolonged exposure to adversity, stress, and trauma especially in early childhood can cause lasting harm. This concern has grown following the COVID-19 pandemic which has left many children grappling with its impacts. In 2021 U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared a youth mental health epidemic underscoring the nationwide crisis. A pivotal moment for Shapiro was the implementation of the Safe2Say Something program aimed at preventing gun violence in schools. The program received over 100,000 tips from students mostly related to their own mental health rather than threats of bringing guns to school. This highlighted the pressing need for more mental health support in schools. “Students are telling us what they need” Josh Shapiro told the “Bubba Show” explaining that many students have requested more counselors and support for friends contemplating suicide. This direct feedback from students strengthened his resolve to address the mental health crisis.

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$120M for Mental Health: Gov. Josh Shapiro’s Investment in PA Schools – Check it Out! (PHOTO: Spotlight PA)

Enhancing Mental Health Support in PA Schools

Furthermore, the fresh funding will enable schools to hire additional counselors and enhance resources for students. Josh Shapiro emphasized that this is just the beginning of tackling a serious issue. He aims to diminish the stigma surrounding mental health issues for all including mothers experiencing postpartum depression and other adults confronting mental health challenges. Additionally, he advocates for mental health services to be included in insurance coverage. With this substantial investment Governor Josh Shapiro aims to cultivate a more supportive atmosphere for mental health in Pennsylvania ultimately resulting in improved care and comprehension throughout the state.

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