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Series: Through the Cracks

Written by Tim Lambert, WITF Multimedia News Director | Jan 14, 2019 10:45 AM

Part I: People with serious mental illnesses in Pa. face long wait for treatment

People with dealing with serious mental illnesses are waiting months - and sometimes, YEARS - to get treatment.

Transforming Health's Brett Sholtis reports it's a problem across the Commonwealth... in the first story of a months-long effort to delve into the issues surrounding mental illness in a series we're calling "Through the Cracks."

Part II: 'There are no answers': A family pushes forward after losing teen to suicide

Each year, about 45,000 people die by suicide in the U.S.

Many leave a family struggling to pick up the pieces.

Transforming Health's Brett Sholtis shares one story as part of our Through the Cracks series on mental health.

As a note to listeners, this story includes discussion about suicide that may be disturbing to some...

Part III: State mental health funding hasn't increased in years. Counties say it's affecting care.

Every year, Pennsylvania counties ask state lawmakers for more money to fund mental health care programs.

And every year, it doesn't happen.

In fact, the amount the state chips in has only dropped since the Great Recession hit in 2008.

Counties have tried to make do -- mostly by keeping services running and their heads above water.

But they say quality of care declines as funding stays flat.

As part of our months-long look atthe issues surrounding mental illness in a series we're calling "Through the Cracks," WITF's Katie Meyer reports the issue hasn't received much attention in Harrisburg -- despite their pleas.

Part IV: Emergency rooms are flooded with mental health patients who have nowhere else to go

About half of frequent emergency department patients have a mental health diagnosis -- and emergency rooms are often where people go when they're having a mental health crisis.

As part of Transforming Health's Through the Cracks series on mental health, Brett Sholtis looks at why people turn to the ER for mental health care, and why they may end up staying there for days or even weeks...

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