I believe that we need to take a proactive approach to mental health advocacy and working to provide better access to mental health care. Working to destigmatize mental health is a long overdue and crucial step in improving the quality of life for Pennsylvanians. One of the ways I believe we can achieve this is by working to expand the availability of Mental Health First Aid training.
Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems. This training can give someone the skills they need to reach out and provide the initial help and support to someone who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.
MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID MATTERS!
Most of us would know how to help if we saw someone having a heart attack—we’d start CPR, or at the very least, call 9-1-1. But too few of us would know how to respond if we saw someone having a panic attack or if we were concerned that a friend or co-worker might be showing signs of depression or substance abuse.
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While many candidates in today’s political climate are pitching their versions of “free” healthcare, I believe we can have the greatest impact by targeting a single healthcare objective, starting with diabetes, and expanded access to insulin. A growing number of diabetics are forced to ration their insulin and as a result have a high likelihood of getting admitted in the Emergency room with Diabetic Keto Acidosis. For some getting admitted to an ER is the only way to get access to insulin in order to stay alive.
Mexico and Canada pay up to 90-95% less for insulin than consumers in the US. My vision for confronting this issue is for Pennsylvania to facilitate the direct sale of insulin from manufacturers directly to pharmacies. By removing the unnecessary “middle men,” we can begin to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, such as insulin.
The name for this lofty idea….The….Pennsylvania….Insulin….Exchange, AKA “PIE”. The economic benefits this program would bring with it would be far reaching. And it would set an important precedent for future programs like it to reduce the cost medical care and prescription drugs alike.
Pennsylvania has some of the most antiquated and unnecessarily complex laws pertaining to the sale and distribution of alcohol. The barriers to bring new products to market in Pennsylvania are impossibly high for many smaller wine makers and distillers. By opening the wine and liquor market to private retailers, Pennsylvanians would have access to better selections and less hassle navigating the current system of state stores that charge higher prices compared to surrounding states.
Each year Pennsylvania loses tens of millions in revenue to residents going outside of the state to purchase alcohol because of the high prices the PLCB sets. By opening up the wine and liquor market in Pennsylvania, it is my hope to bring that revenue back to the state as well as attract residents in surrounding states to Pennsylvania to purchase their wine and liquor at competitive prices.
You don’t have to look very far to see a glaring example of our state’s crumbling infrastructure. To ensure a prosperous future for our residents and businesses, Pennsylvania needs to create a plan to invest in and vastly overhaul our roads, bridges, and storm sewers.