EAST STROUDSBURG – With many Pennsylvanians continuing to struggle with mental health, isolation, loss and financial struggles stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) has reached out within her district to local municipalities/boroughs, education and private community association leaders last week asking for their partnership in creating a “Neighbor to Neighbor” program.
The focus of this program would be to identify and assist households from the closest level in the 189th Legislative District, especially with mental health concerns at the forefront.
“As co-chair of the House Mental Health Caucus, my colleagues and I are working to develop a combination of legislative policies and local community initiatives that would help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage confidence in individuals seeking help,” said Brown. “While there have been improvements, there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done to ensure mental health concerns are recognized and encourage those struggling with their mental health to seek medical or professional care.
“Due to the dramatic changes in our lives over this recent year, (reduced socialization, increased loneliness, removed educational systems, difficult economics, stress and illness), people are suffering from mental health concerns and depression more than ever before,” she continued.
“This is where I am asking for our local leaders’ help. Our local community leaders have the closest connection to residents and can develop an effective volunteer system to reach out to our communities in a caring and effective manner,” said Brown “I encourage our local leaders to create a group or point person to help develop this interpersonal program within their private community or municipality.”
“While is it not uncommon for counties or school districts to be involved with mental health services, townships, boroughs and private communities often do not mark it as one of their top priorities. These are unusual times and I am requesting our local leaders to be creative in developing their own ‘Neighbor to Neighbor’ program where they identify and build relationships and target vulnerable populations (i.e. seniors, children, struggling families, etc.). I am willing to work alongside these groups to assist in implementing this critical initiative locally, but this is about volunteers and neighbors paying attention and helping each other,” Brown concluded.
In addition to local resources, the Commonwealth has a vast number of mental health resources available to Pennsylvanians. Learn more about these resources by visiting dhs.pa.gov/Services/Mental-Health-In-PA/Pages/default.aspx
Representative Rosemary M. Brown
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abby Chiumento