HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Departments of Aging and Human Services joined the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging (P4A) to highlight mental health services for older adults.

“As Pennsylvania’s older adult population continues to grow and becomes more diverse, we need to improve resources and supports to meet the mental health needs of this population, which tends to be more socially isolated than other age groups,” Secretary of Aging Robert Torres said. “We know that social isolation adversely impacts older adults and can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression that can negatively affect their physical and mental health status and result in greater risk of mortality.”

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Governor Wolf’s budget proposal calls for a $36.6 million increase in county mental health base funds. The proposal also calls for $40 million in one-time federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for behavioral health services.

“As a country, we recognize that the population is aging due to advancements in healthcare and technology. With this comes the reality that the mental health needs and services available to this population must also evolve,” said Kristen Houser, DHS’ Deputy Secretary for the Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse (OMHSAS)