There’s a call to increase mental health resources across the commonwealth.

State officials are reporting more than 5,200 Pennsylvanians died of substance use disorders in 2021.

Here is more about the plans to make the services more accessible.

The Wolf Administration is sharing information about mental health resources while highlighting May as Mental Health Awareness Month.

Local mental health professionals said that there are services available to help.

“There is help. Please know there are resources available to help you or your loved one who might be struggling with drug or alcohol misuse,” said Jennifer Smith, Secretary of PA Drug and Alcohol Programs.

The Pennsylvania secretary of Drug and Alcohol Program said that there are mental health resources to assist those in need of services.

Smith said that the pandemic posed some challenges for those suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Drug and alcohol treatment programs had to shift on a moments notice and adapt to the increased emotional toll the pandemic took on individuals and families needing services.

“Barriers to harm reduction, treatment and recovery supports must be a priority. It is more vital than ever that we bridge the divide between mental health and substance abuse disorder and that we take the wholistic coordinator approach when addressing both of these issues,” said Smith.

There is a national effort to increase access to crisis services including changing the hotline number.

“Anytime we have a medical need we know that we dial 911, and so the same is going to apply for any behavioral health needs that people have. So if they dial 988 they would actually be able to get connected to a call center crisis center that could help them with getting access to behavioral health needs,” said Stacey Buettner, Director of Crisis Services at UPMC Safe Harbor.

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Again that hotline will take effect this July and individuals can call 988 for a behavioral health crisis.