PA-Gov: Lynn Patrone Named Head of New Mental Health Office

PA Corrections DepartmentOne of the Wolf Administration’s new offices has its first leader.

Today, Department of Corrections Acting Secretary John Wetzel, today, announced the appointment of Lynn Patrone as the head of the DOC’s newly-created Office of Mental Health Advocate.

“We have made and continue to make significant improvements to our mental health services, and Lynn’s appointment as our mental health advocate ensures that offenders are getting the treatment they should receive while in prison,” Acting Secretary Wetzel said. “Working independently from the DOC’s Psychology Office, Lynn will ensure that offenders are connected with benefits upon their release from prison.”

Lynn Patrone recently left her job at the Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (OHMSAS), where she worked as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary.

Patrone, who is an alum of both York College and Penn State University was also Program Director for the PA Behavioral Health & Aging Coalition.

“Lynn has a strong history of advocacy in this area,” Wetzel stated. “She also is a peer support specialist supervisor, is trained and in suicide prevention, and soon will be certified as a mental health first aid instructor. I can’t think of a more-qualified individual to work closely with our Office of Psychology to ensure offenders with mental illness receive the treatment and benefits they deserve.”

2 Responses

  1. Dear Lynn, As you know Armstrong County Pa has a high rate of opiate/heroin addiction. There is usually a dual diagnosis of mental disease that goes along with this. My son was placed in jail for difficulty urinating at the probation office due to my son taking Straterra. The Straterra causes difficulty urinating. They placed him in jail not giving him his Paxil or Neurotin. He went without meds for over a week. Then it took ahwile to get the meds back in his system. Before stabilizing on his meds he went into a manic phase of bi polar illness. He became suicidal and physically dangerous to others. I had a 302 commitment to a pyschiatric ward. They started him on a mood stabilizer. He has been on that med for 5 days. His 302 will be up tomorrow and the Probation office wants to place him back in jail where he will have to go without his psych meds again until the psychatrist comes into the jail which is once a week. The prisoner is expected to be in control of themselves which can be very difficult to do when you brain chemistry is constantly being screwed up. I really believe we could get a handle on the drug/ mentel illness problem here in the county if we addressed the treatment of the mentally ill. Incarcerating someone for every little thing is not helping this situation. As a nurse for 36 years I see this as a cruel treatment withholding very important medication to my son’s metnal well being.

  2. Lynn,

    Katherine Seidle at Rep Cohen’s office suggested I contact you. My son Eric Slachta recently reached out to you regarding the violation of his civil rights as a mental patient by the Chester County police. I am so disappointed that he has not gotten a response. He reached out to you as a person who should be aware of this injustice. He would love to speak with you and be an advocate for mental health rights in PA. He has reached out to several people and no one is giving him the respect of a response. I was hoping that I could get this message to you and ask that you take the time to speak with him.

    Thank you
    Christine Slachta

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