Congressman Ryan Costello Asks PCS for Input

By Alli Kauffman | July 19, 2016 | view story on Facebook

LEBANON, PA — Congressman Ryan Costello visited Pennsylvania Counseling Services’ (PCS) Renaissance location on Tuesday, July 19, to discuss the contributions that behavioral health care providers are making in the community and the challenges they face. Costello received a tour of the Renaissance facility before convening for a discussion with members of the PCS leadership team.

Since his election into office in November 2014, Costello has focused much of his attention toward promoting safer, healthier communities through engaged and involved clinical treatment centers like PCS.

“What matters most is making sure people get the help they need. Being able to interface the PCS office and our office concerning what works best for health care is a big takeaway for the treatment system.”


The group’s discussion centered on the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act” (H.R. 2646), a bill cosponsored by Costello focused on reforming the current behavioral health care system. As the bill awaits consideration in the U.S. Senate, Costello looked to gain more understanding of the behavioral health care system from the first-hand perspective of PCS.

Costello expressed agreement in the importance of PCS’s perspective that the components of behavior health (mental health, substance abuse and addictions) should be treated as a whole rather than treated individually.

“The wisdom that we saw in Congressman Costello is not something we always see in government officials. I appreciated his concern regarding veterans and felt that he understood the hurdles that agencies like ours have to deal with in order to provide treatment.”


Both Costello and the PCS leadership team members conveyed passion and desire to improve the behavioral health care system as they discussed current challenges and possible solutions. The group covered topics including patients’ access to treatment, providing co-occurring treatment for veterans and addressing each patient as a “whole individual” rather than isolating the treatable conditions.

“Through the Congressman’s willingness to come to PCS and listen in a very personal way, I felt like we were able to positively influence the whole treatment culture from a legislative perspective. His concern made us cultural warriors. We had a chance to affect the bigger picture.”