A State House panel is hosting a series of hearings to discuss mental health treatment across Pennsylvania.
Several mental health advocates asked the lawmakers to create programs that treat the physical health problems that come with a serious and persistent mental health illness.
Debbie Plotnick is Director of Advocacy for the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. She's also the mother of to a daughter who battled bipolar disorder.
"I know too many folks who die in their 40s and their 50s, and these are medical conditions that are related to poverty because of their mental health conditions."
Plotnick says her daughter had dental problems and allergic reactions related to the psychiatry drugs that kept her stable. She also needed physical rehabilitation after several suicide attempts.
Plotnick say her daughter escaped homelessness, incarceration other life-shortening conditions that come with poverty because she belonged to a family with health insurance and considerable financial resources.
The House committee on Health and Human Services has similar meetings planned for Pittsburgh, Erie, Philadelphia and Scranton.