Criminal Justice

You don’t need to wait for election day to have your voice heard.

State lawmakers wrapped up business in Harrisburg and returned home last week to campaign in earnest for the May 17 primary election. Because every vote counts, every voice matters. Especially now, in the weeks leading up to the election, lawmakers are sensitive to constituents’ concerns and want to hear from you.

Take advantage of this opportunity to reach out and urge lawmakers to increase funding to support human services professionals, so individuals and families in need get the assistance and care they deserve.

So far, the outpouring of support has been incredible. Since the governor unveiled his 2022/23 budget proposal in February, more than 4,000 individuals have contacted their local lawmakers urging them to act. We need to build on this momentum.

Once the election finishes, lawmakers will begin crafting a final budget before the end of the fiscal year, June 30. Pennsylvania is sitting on billions of federal dollars and state “rainy day” funds that could increase wages to help us attract and retain human service professionals.

It’s critical that our senators and representatives understand how this workforce crisis is affecting our most vulnerable individuals and families, as well as the providers and professionals who serve them.

Please USE THIS LINK to learn how you can help and urge your networks to do the same. Most importantly, TAKE ACTION TODAY. Tell lawmakers to increase funding to address the workforce crisis facing Pennsylvania’s health and human services.

RCPA is pleased to support and celebrate Pennsylvania’s participation in the #WeHealUS national campaign during Mental Health Awareness Month.

#WeHealUS is a grassroots campaign that honors May as Mental Health Awareness Month by amplifying the hard work of individuals, organizations, and local/state governments building resilience and healing. Nationwide, more states and municipalities are embracing trauma-informed and healing-centered policies and practices because resilience grows through healthy and informed relationships.

#WeHealUS was the brain child of stakeholders in Illinois and Pennsylvania — pioneering states that have become “healing-centered” with public and private partnerships working outside the box to promote trauma awareness. The Illinois Light Initiative has launched an Illinois Healing Capacity Building Center to unify trauma education, training, and programming. HEAL PA is an innovative mix of state agency representatives and community stakeholders tasked with implementing the Trauma-Informed PA Plan across the commonwealth. #WeHealUS is further supported by the national Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP).

Take a look at the Pennsylvania calendar of #WeHealUS activities as well as the #WeHealUS campaign toolkit for this month. We encourage everyone to share this information widely with your networks, as the events are open for all to attend! Sample social media posts are included in the toolkit.

RCPA remains an active member of the Heal PA trauma-informed initiative. You can contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp with any questions or comments regarding this initiative.