814.452.4462 1101 Peach St. Erie, PA 16501

About Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA

The Mental Health Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania (MHA) is an organization founded and operated by people served in the mental health system. MHA primarily serves mental health consumers over 18 years of age. The MHA operates a Consumer Recovery Center which provides the opportunity for adults who are consumers of mental health services to interact with peers in social, educational, and recreational activities in an environment in which they feel safe and respected. Although the Consumer Center is the core of MHA, we also offer a variety of other programs serving the various needs of our community.

MHA of Northwestern PA

Our Mission, Vision, and Values


Our Mission

The Mental Health Association provides support and advocacy to those in recovery-to be themselves and to feel accepted and connected with others with shared experiences.


Our Vision

The Mental Health Association is a reliable resource that assures safety, health and community for persons with mental health needs.


Our Values

The Mental Health Association values community education and empowering people with mental health needs to lead meaningful and satisfying lives.


Meet Our Team

Patricia Stucke's portrait

Patricia Stucke

  • Chief Executive Officer
Tina Richardi's portrait

Tina Richardi

  • Financial Officer
Mary Sackett's portrait

Mary Sackett

  • Human Resources Manager
  • HIPAA Security Officer
Jodi Lander's portrait

Jodi Lander

  • Center Team Leader
Melanie Way's portrait

Melanie Way

  • Consumer Family Satisfaction
  • Team Leader / Data Analyst
Theresa Abbey's portrait

Theresa Abbey

  • Peer Support Team Leader

Board of Directors

Patricia Stucke

  • Chief Executive Officer

Kirk W. Kinnear

  • President

Colleen Hammon

  • Vice-President

Dave Jeannerat

  • Treasurer

Jessica Molczan

  • Secretary

Sue Bennett

  • Board Member

Christine Colao-Nickson

  • Board Member

Shirley Ruth French

  • Board Member

Antonio Howard

  • Board Member

Frank Quinn

  • Board Member

Rita Scrimenti

  • Board Member

Stephanie Smith

  • Board Member

Betsy Wiest

  • Board Member

Above and Beyond Award

The MHA Board of Directors recognizes MHA staff members who perform exceptional deeds which prove to be instrumental in the lives of mental health consumers. These deeds deserve to be celebrated. The ‘Above and Beyond’ award has recently been awarded to four MHA staff members in gratitude for these special efforts.

Employment Opportunities

Employment Opportunities at Mental Health Association of NW PA. MHA is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits hiring discrimination on the basis of race, color, religious creed, disability, ancestry, national origin, age or sex. Employment opportunities shall be provided for applicants with disabilities and reasonable accommodations shall be made to meet the physical or mental limitations of qualified applicants or employees.

Nondiscrimination Policy

MHA is an equal opportunity employer and provider. We offer employment opportunities and provide services without consideration of national origin, age or sex.

Privacy Policy

This notice describes our privacy practices that are in effect at this time. You may obtain a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices from Patricia Stucke, CEO and HIPAA Privacy Officer.

Annual Reports

Our latest corporate Annual Report is available now.

Historical Perspective of Recovery and MHA in Erie, PA

A group of consumers met in the basement of the Arts and Culture Center at Stairways Behavioral Health. They talked of a need for more structure and helped to form a consumer support group and a consumer drop-in center in Erie, PA. John Farmer, an activist consumer from Philadelphia, was invited for consultation and offered support to this determined group. Meetings followed at the MECA Office in the Baldwin Building (now Renaissance Center). Participants learned how to structure a group, had training in group facilitation and visited drop in centers in PA. Another individual wanted to start a local chapter of the Depression/Manic Depression Association (now Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance). He needed a place to hold the meetings. At the time DMDA met two different days at two different times. Mr. Bill Grove, then Supervisor of Inpatient Therapy at Saint Vincent Hospital found space for DMDA to hold information sharing and support to consumers on the inpatient psychiatric unit. Confidentiality was upheld.

In 1993 the Erie/Warren Project to bring Erie County residents receiving treatment at Warren State Hospital back to the community was underway. “Together We Stand” was a group of consumers who met at Stairways to bring a consumer voice and perspective to this downsizing of the State Hospital. They requested and received funding from Erie County Office of MH/MR to start a Consumer Center as a peer support project for the returning consumers. The Center operated in the basement of Mid-City Towers in downtown Erie during the 1992-1993 fiscal year. Referred to then as Consumer Projects, the center started out housing a drop-in center, named “Our Place” by its members, and the Consumer Satisfaction Team (CST) in 1994. Visits were made to consult with and receive training from Loretta Ferry, Consumer Satisfaction Team, in Philadelphia, PA.

Ms. Sue Bennett, a founding member of the group, worked with Mr. John Farmer from Southeast PA to turn the vision of a consumer driven/run organization into reality for Erie, PA. Providers, Erie County MH officials, family members and consumers came together in support of the idea. In 1994 the Consumer Center and the Consumer Satisfaction Team were incorporated as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization becoming the Erie County Coalition of Mental Health Consumers (ECCMHC) with a Board of Directors and Susan L. Bennett as Executive Director. The ECCMHC operated out of various locations over the next couple of years including Old Main (part of Stairways) on West 21st and Sassafras Streets. The tireless search continued for a permanent location for consumers to have support groups and a Consumer Center. In August 1997, again with the assistance and support of the Erie County MH/MR Office, the ECCMHC bought a building at 1101 Peach Street, Erie, PA. This facility remains the home of the organization to this day.

In 2000 the ECCMHC began an eight-year affiliation with the National Mental Health Association and was renamed the Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA. For the next five years, MHA continued to grow its Consumer Center and Consumer Satisfaction Team programs. Numbers of daily participants in the Consumer Center rose from 20-30 per day to over 50. The CST added surveying of family members with children in the mental health system renaming itself as the Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team (CFST) and increased its surveying capacity to over 3,000 surveys per year.

In 2005 MHA subcontracted with Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania to be the provider of External Advocate services at Warren State Hospital, helping to ensure consumers had an independent source of advocacy for human rights at that facility. In 2006, MHA developed its second out-of-county contract, providing a Community Advocate in Forest/Warren Counties. In this same year Erie County began contracting with the Consumer Satisfaction Team to survey Drug and Alcohol program consumers receiving county funded services.

In 2008 MHA’s Erie programs were operating out of the first floor of our main facility but we were growing again. We had been renting the second floor to a related service that was now looking for a more accessible site. With the help of Erie County MH/MR, our tenant was able to find an appropriate facility and MHA was able to secure funding to renovate the vacated space for our use. Erie County had trained over 50 consumers in the new career option of Certified Peer Specialists and wanted MHA to develop 2 new projects, the Peer Housing Support Program and the Consumer Employment Outreach Coordinator, both providing employment opportunities and support components for some of the newly trained Peer Specialists.

MHA now houses consumer driven/run programs on all floors of its facility. The Consumer Center takes up the entire first floor which used to serve all our programs. It serves 70 to 100 mental health consumers each of the six days per week it operates. Further renovations to that floor in 2010 now offer consumers laundry and shower facilities, a café, and a full kitchen. In the winter of 2008, the Consumer Center joined with Erie County to offer a mental health consumer run Warming Center for any shelterless individuals from 11 at night to 7 the next morning on the coldest of winter nights.

In recent years MHA has continued to explore and develop new options for consumer engagement in self-help support and employment. The role of Certified Peer Specialist has become more accepted as a valuable resource for recovery. The Peer Housing Support Team has transitioned into a Free-Standing Peer Support Program billing medical assistance for its services. It has the capacity to serve over 150 peers. Today MHA continues to serve mental health consumers with quality peer-based services employing over 25 full and part-time staff, 75% of whom are consumers of mental health services. We are proud of our heritage of service and opportunity for helping persons with mental health needs pursue mental health recovery throughout every aspect of the organization.


Mental Health Association Special Events

There are currently no special events at this time.

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