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January 17, 2019
How My Depression Made Me A Better State Representative
By Michael Schlossberg | Dec. 17, 2018

When I first told the world I suffered from a major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, I miscalculated. I was angry at the time, and I didn’t realize it would actually have a positive impact on me and the people I represent.

I’m a full-time elected official. I have the great privilege of serving as a Pennsylvania State Representative for the people of the 132nd Legislative District, representing parts of Allentown and South Read More

    Training The Community To Recognize And Respond To Crises
    By John Giampaolo | Dec. 20, 2018

    As a child, I watched my brother struggle for years. Mental health simply wasn’t a topic discussed much in the 1970s and 1980s, and my parents had few resources to turn to for help. I was 21 years old when my brother took his life; I understand firsthand what families go through and the impact of losing a loved one to suicide.

    It’s what led me to my current role, working with organizations in Read More

    By Alexa Doiron

    Gov. Ralph Northam is pushing for an increase in school counselors with a proposed budget of $36 million, and students in Williamsburg might benefit.

    “There’s definitely an increase every school year in students seeking help,” said Jennifer Smethurst, a counselor at Jamestown High School. “Things are just getting worse and we’re needing more support within the building.”

    Currently, the average ratio is one counselor to 425 students, according to a news release from the governor’s office. Smethurst falls below that Read More

    RICHMOND, Va. — Legislators proposed recommendations Tuesday to expand Virginia’s mental health services — including “right-sizing” the state hospital system, altering law enforcement training procedures, and providing correctional facilities access to health records.

    A General Assembly subcommittee will push legislation requiring the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) to “right-size” the state hospital system by ensuring the appropriate number, capacity, and locations of state hospitals. The legislation seeks to improve the current state hospital model and increase access to Read More

    Virginia wants to help people with mental illness navigate the criminal justice system

    Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring remembers the fatal shooting of man in the Gilpin Court housing project last summer because of one characteristic:

    A transcript of the defendant’s interview with police showed the defendant laughing repeatedly while discussing the crime.

    But when he watched the police interview video, Herring found the laugh was actually more of a low chuckle, scattered throughout the suspect’s testimony as he discussed the shooting of his best friend in front of the friend’s family.

    Herring recognized in the Read More

    Virginia’s mental health system needs an overhaul, legislators say

    State Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Mount Solon, urges the state to come up with a plan to shrink the state’s network of mental hospitals at a Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services meeting on Dec 4 2018 (Dave Ress/ staff)

    Virginia needs a plan to shrink its network of state mental hospitals, according to a key state legislative panel.

    The term the panel used is “right-sizing” the state system of nine hospitals.

    “We’ve got to get to the point where Read More

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