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.

If you have a news story that you feel would be appropriate for this page please send it to

Pennsylvania Clubhouse Coalition Conference (Posted 4/20/18)


Peer Support and Outreach Center for Veterans (Posted 4/17/18)

The BeThere Peer Assistance Line is the only dedicated Department of Defense (DoD) peer support call and outreach center available to all Service members across the Department (including the National Guard and Reserves) and their families. The program is staffed by peer coaches who are Veteran Service members and spouses of prior Service members, and is available 24/7 through chat, email, phone and text. Communications between peer counselors and Service members are confidential.


Glenn Koons Scholarship (Posted 3/14/18)

The Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association (PMHCA) and Mental Health Association of Pennsylvania (MHAPA) are now accepting applications for the 2018 Glenn Koons Scholarship.

Glenn, a well-respected Certified Peer Specialist (CPS), guided many people through mental health recovery before his untimely death in 2011. He brought hope and smiles to everyone he encountered. The scholarship honors his life and work by supporting others who want to provide peer support.

Each year, they award the $1,000 scholarship to a promising Pennsylvania candidate for CPS training who demonstrates the ability to engage people, share life experiences in recovery, provide leadership, and teach others these skills. Read about past recipients.

To apply for the 2018 scholarship, complete the online application or use the paper application and mail it to the address on the application. The deadline for submitting applications is May 11, 2018.

If you have questions, please contact the PMHCA office at 1-800-887-6422, 1-717-564-4930, or

Inpatient Care Surveys (Posted 3/14/18)

The Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has begun the process of reviewing and updating the regulations (state requirements) for the inpatient level of care. This includes services provided in private psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric units in a general hospital, residential treatment facilities for adults (RTF-As), psychiatric residential treatment facilities for youth under 21 (PRTFs) and extended acute care (EACs) settings.

They want to hear from you as they move forward with this very important work. The attached flyer has links to surveys for the following groups: nursing staff, clinical staff, direct care staff and individuals who have, or are, receiving inpatient services.   Please click on the link in the flyer to complete the survey that is appropriate for you.

Flyer:  OMHSAS Inpatient Care Surveys

Crisis Text Line (Posted 2/15/18)

The Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Crisis Text Line, a free and confidential service that is available nationally to provide support to those in crisis.

Crisis Text Line may be accessed any time by texting PA to 741741.


Flyer: PA Crisis Text Line Flyer_Option 1_Final

FTC Releases Fact Sheets on Treatment for Opioid Dependence (Posted 1/26/18)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) worked closely with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop a new resource on treatments for opioid dependence or withdrawal. The resource includes some quick tips to get people to real help, while helping them avoid products that promise help but can instead cost precious time and money, lead to relapse, and even be dangerous.

You can find this one-page fact sheet in English at and in Spanish at Feel free to share throughout your network, website, newsletters, and social media.


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