Through the Cracks | PA Post
Through the Cracks

Through the Cracks is an exploration of mental health services in the commonwealth. Both data-driven and deeply personal, the series aims to spark conversations, question policymakers and health care leaders, and result in measurable improvements for those who need help.

This series is a collaboration between PA Post and Transforming Health.



Advocates flag concerns over Pa.’s new mental health law

Act 106 establishes a new standard for involuntary outpatient commitment.
By Brett Sholtis

Peyton Heart Project: ‘It’s a kindness mission and a mission of hope’

Patti Dille lost her son Matthew to suicide in 2014. He was 17. She says she did not see signs that he was considering suicide, which is one reason she now works to spread awareness through the Peyton Heart Project.

By Keira McGuire

Three years after ACLU settlement, prisoners with mental illnesses still face long waits to be placed in state hospitals

The situation leaves people who have been deemed unfit to stand trial for alleged crimes locked up in county prisons for weeks or months
By Brett Sholtis

Emergency rooms are flooded with mental health patients who have nowhere else to go

Health system and county officials point to a need for more mental health resources.
By Brett Sholtis

State mental health funding hasn’t increased in years. Counties say it’s affecting care.

Most of the mental health care for Pennsylvanians not covered by Medicaid, or insurance is provided through counties and bankrolled by the state.
By Katie Meyer

Mental illness, substance-use disorder often occur together

Julia Chapman knows her mental illness played a role in heroin use
By Keira McGuire

‘There are no answers’: One family pushes forward after losing teenager to suicide

Josh Sterner had good psychiatric care, a therapist and access to medication. None of that prevented his death.
By Brett Sholtis

Smart Talk: “Through the Cracks” examines mental health treatment in Pennsylvania

Many who suffer can't find the treatment or assistance they need
By Merideth Bucher

Homeless and mentally ill: Hilda’s story

Hilda hasn’t always been homeless. She has tried many housing situations, but since 2009 she has been evicted from at least six places. She says people don’t understand her or her habits. Sometimes, she says she doesn’t understand herself. Hilda has been diagnosed with several mental illness disorders.

By Keira McGuire

People with serious mental illnesses are waiting months, sometimes ‘a year or more,’ to get treatment

In the 12 years since Harrisburg State Hospital closed, state funding for community mental health programs has decreased, leaving services 'stretched thin.'
By Brett Sholtis
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