MHA Consumers meet with Congressman Mike Kelly to Share Concerns about Legislation.
MHA members Chuck Gauley and James Elmore attended a meeting with Congressman Kelly at his office on Feb 16, 2016. The meeting was organized by Elisha Coffee from the Mental Health Assn. of Southeastern Pa. and Diana Ames at our MHA to specifically address concerns regarding Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (aka.the Murphy Bill), currently in the U.S. House, awaiting passage. We were to meet for half an hour and ended up discussing the Bill for over 90 minutes. Everyone, including the Congressman, shared knowledge and experiences regarding the mental illnesses and the mental health system. We shared the struggles, the treatments that failed, the attempts to make decisions benefiting both our families and ourselves. We also spoke about the positive approaches of MHA’s across the Commonwealth and how folks have successfully turned their lives around to become quite productive while still living with the diagnosis. The Congressman requested to visit the MHA in Erie and offered to have further discussions on this issue. He also responded positively to our request for help in organizing a meeting with the Bill’s sponsor to share consumer ideas and concerns with him. Rep. Kelly felt that would be very productive and would definitely try to make that happen. He also stated he was grateful we took the time to meet with him as he felt this was an important issue.