6a00d83420c49153ef01b7c781a9b2970bThis page will contain items of information that we believe will be of interest to our site visitors. The information we will be posting here will include announcements from the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), news about national trends in CPS work, and any other pertinent information to CPSs. Newer posts will be at the top of the page.

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Join Pennsylvania’s Mental Health Planning Council (Posted 12/12/17)

Do you want to make a real difference in the lives of Pennsylvanians with mental health and substance use disorders? 

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services’ (OMHSAS) Mental Health Planning Council is currently accepting applications for new members!

The Planning Council provides a forum for youth, adults, and family members with lived experience to work side-by-side with advocates, providers, administrators, and OMHSAS leadership to provide recommendations regarding important, statewide policy and programmatic issues.

To be considered for the membership term starting in July 2018, please complete and return the attached application by March 31, 2018.

For more information about the OMHSAS Mental Health Planning Council, visit or contact  Individuals interested in applying for membership are encouraged to attend the February 28, 2018 meeting of the Mental Health Planning Council in Mechanicsburg, PA.

Application: Planning Council Application 2018 

Deputy Secretary of OMHSAS Announced (Posted 10/30/17)

On October 20, 2017 acting Department of Human Services Secretary, Teresa Miller, sent the following email:
Please join me in welcoming Lynn Kovich to the DHS team. Beginning on November 13, Lynn will serve as deputy secretary for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). With 26 years of experience in direct services work and administration in both the nonprofit and government sectors working with individuals who have developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders, as well as those experiencing homelessness, Lynn will be a great addition to a remarkable OMHSAS team.
Additionally, I’d like to personally thank Ellen DiDominico for all of her hard work and assistance during this transition period.
Together, we look forward to working together to better serve the commonwealth.
Teresa Miller
Acting DHS Secretary

Save the Date – PaPSC 1st Annual Conference (Posted 9/27/17)






Save the Date – NAMI Keystone PA Conference (Posted 9/11/17)

Join NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania for its annual state conference this March. The two-day event features an exciting lineup of speakers and workshops that will educate and enlighten all mental health stakeholders – from professionals, educators, and advocates to individuals living with mental illness and their families.

Look for more information on registration deadlines, accommodations, and scholarship availability in the coming weeks.






New DHS Secretary Announced (Posted 8/21/17)

This message is being sent on behalf of

Tom Wolf, Governor

 Good afternoon,

I am pleased to announce that, effective August 21, Teresa Miller, current Commissioner for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, will lead the Department of Human Services.

Commissioner Miller’s leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the people of the commonwealth have been evident during her tenure at Insurance, and I am confident that she will lead DHS with those same characteristics and commitment.

As Commissioner Miller joins DHS, Jessica Altman will begin serving at the helm of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

Please join me in welcoming Teresa Miller to DHS and wishing her much continued success.

Governor Tom Wolf

Volunteer Opportunities at Ft. Indiantown Gap (Posted 8/10/17)

The USO and RSVP of the Capital Region have announced a number of volunteer opportunities at Ft. Indiantown Gap. If you or a peer you are supporting is interested in helping the National Guard, please click on the following flyer for more information.

Volunteer Flyer: USO Presentation Flyer 081417 MG

PMHCA Announces 2017 Glenn Koons Scholarship Recipient (Posted 8/1/17)

PMHCA has announced their 2017 Glenn Koons Scholarship recipient. Below is their announcement:

Cambria County resident, Dontae George Myers was a young 29 when he lost his mom. Still grieving over his parents’ separation years before, and emotionally raw from five years of caring for his ill mother, Dontae went into a tailspin after her death. He was hospitalized and then spent time in rehab for co-occurring disorder.

Although Dontae came out of the hospital and rehab with tools to manage his mental health, he credits peer support and the community he found at the Peer Empowerment Network (PEN) Drop In Center in Johnstown, PA, with setting him on a solid path to recovery and leading him to pursue certification in peer support.

Webinar Presenters Wanted (Posted 5/4/17)

Doors to Wellbeing, a program of the Copeland Center, conducts monthly webinar series dedicated to bringing ideas, topics and methods to improve the work of peer specialists.  We are looking for new, exciting and innovative presenters for our monthly Peer Specialist Webinar Series.  This is a great way to reach the peer community.

Click here to submit a proposal to them.

Community HealthChoices vs. HealthChoices (Posted 4/21/17)

Community HealthChoices (CHC) is a new program being rolled out in Pennsylvania.

CHC was developed to:

  • enhance access to and improve coordination of medical care
  • create a person-driven, long-term support system in which people have choice, control, and access to a full array of quality services that provide independence, health, and quality of life. Long-term services and supports help eligible individuals to perform daily activities in their home such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and administering medications.

Please see the below flyer for more information on what CHC is, how it is similar to HealthChoices, and how it differs.

Community HealthChoices Flyer

Certification through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (Posted 3/21/17)

On March 9 we posted an announcement on this page that the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has started the task of creating a formal credentialing process for CPSs through the Pennsylvania Certification Board. We posted that there will be an OMHSAS webinar held on April 4 to update people on this process.

The PaPSC, as the voice of CPSs in Pennsylvania, is in communication with OMHSAS staff and will be conducting multiple projects to gather feedback from CPSs and other stakeholders across Pennsylvania so that we can effectively advocate for CPS interests in this process. Some of the projects we will be conducting are:

  • a broad survey sent out electronically
  • ethics trainings to gather input from the training participants on aspects of ethics they would like included in a formal CPS Code of Ethics
  • focus groups to gather feedback from CPSs on a wide range of topics associated with this process including support for moving forward, fees, grandfathering, certification renewal times, expectations of benefits if implemented, etc.

Please watch this site and your email for updates and notifications as there will be a lot of information to communicate going forward.

DHS Press Release (Posted 1/18/17)

The Department of Human Services issued a press release on January 11 regarding the closures of the Hamburg State Center for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as the closure of the civil section of Norristown State Hospital. Please click here to read the full story.