Mental Health Services

Mental Health services are administered through county Mental Health and Developmental Services (MH/DS) program offices. The county MH/DS offices serve as a referral source. Most actual mental health services are delivered by local provider agencies under contract with the county MH/DS office. The county MH/DS office determines a person's eligibility for service funding, assesses the need for treatment or other services, and makes referrals to appropriate programs to fit treatment and/or other service needs.

To find a county MH/DS office visit the Pennsylvania Association of County Administrators of Mental Health and Developmental Services.

The Pennsylvania Network of Care is a web resource which provides information and tools, such as:

  • Information & service directories for every county in Pennsylvania
  • Research library
  • Free online trainings available in multiple languages, including American Sign Language
  • Local, state and national links to government resources and organizations that specialize in mental health
  • Bill tracking to follow current state and federal legislation
  • Social networking
  • Secure storage of personal folders including health information, reference materials, WRAP plans and Mental Health Advance Directives

You can also find services in your county by using the Human Services Provider Online Directory.

Pennsylvania's Approach to Mental Health

Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP)
The current public children's behavioral health system in Pennsylvania is based on the principles and framework developed more than 20 years ago through the Child and Adolescent Service System Program. This Introduction to CASSP describes the origins of CASSP in Pennsylvania, highlights current initiatives and services, and lists some basic children's behavioral health services.

Student Assistance Program (SAP)
Student Assistance Program is designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success. The Student Assistance Program is administered by the PA Department of Education’s Division of Student and Safe School Services in partnership with the PA Department of Health’s Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs, and the PA Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

A Call For Change

  • A Call for Change Towards a Recovery-Oriented Mental Service System for Adults: establishes a firm foundation for the Pennsylvania transformation to a recovery-oriented mental health system. It offers an understanding of how we have arrived at this time of recovery transformation, provides a concise definition of recovery, and further consideration of what a recovery-oriented system is and is not. Indicators are provided to serve as critical reference points for services, agencies and county mental health programs looking for more specific strategies for transforming to more recovery-oriented services. A Call for Change highlights the challenges we have yet to address and the need for us to engage in open, honest discussion and debate about these issues.

Community Support Program (CSP)

  • The Community Support Program helps to provide consumers, family members, and professionals a forum to help shape the continued transformation of the mental health services in Pennsylvania into a recovery-oriented system.  The CSP in Pennsylvania has developed into four regional committees which support the development of local committees and coalitions, all committees are comprised of mental health consumers, family members and professionals. Both the regional and local CSP committees provide a community-based avenue for CSP principles, education, information-sharing, and for the collective input on major successes and concerns regarding community mental health services. Concerns and recommendations are then shared with the OMHSAS Adult Advisory Committee.  To learn more about CSP and to find local contacts, visit the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association web site:  www.pmhca.org

Positive Practice Resource Team (PPRT)

  • The Positive Practices Resource Team is a joint initiative between the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) and the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) to serve those individuals with a developmental disability who are demonstrating at-risk behavioral challenges and who the support team determines may be needing enhanced levels of support not readily known or available to them.

Other Resources:

For specific information on OMHSAS initiatives regarding Recovery and Resiliency visit: PaRecovery.org

Crisis Intervention by County