HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Mental health advocates from across the state will hold a march and rally on the Capitol steps in Harrisburg to promote increased funding for mental health initiatives Wednesday.

Speakers include NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania CEO Christine Michaels, behavioral health consultant and mental health advocate Joan Erney, and Rep. Mike Schlossberg. The rally will address a number of topics, including the statewide shortage of mental health professionals.

“People need to understand the real-life impact of the workforce shortage,” said Christine Michaels, CEO of NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania. “What are working parents supposed to do when their child keeps getting sent home from school because of their behavior and there is no one available to help? Some children are waiting 18 months for an initial appointment just to gather basic information and learn what services are available.”

Other topics of discussion will include the importance of increasing mental health base funding, equal access for all, and how living wages save the lives of people in Pennsylvania.  

After the rally, participants will march around the capitol and meetings with legislators will follow. A few hundred people from across the state are expected to attend. Registration is not required but appreciated: https://forms.gle/rVysCa8z5CvqnarT7. 

The event begins at 10:00 AM with remarks beginning at 10:30 AM.