HARRISBURG – Montgomery County Rep. Joe Ciresi has introduced two bills to support the mental health workforce. The bills were produced in response to the Joint State Government Commission’s study on the shortage of mental health care professionals in PA. House Bill 725 would establish a student loan forgiveness program for students seeking degrees in psychology, counseling, social work, human services work, psychiatry, and nursing. To be eligible, students must graduate from a university that is part of the PA State System of Higher Education with a minimum B average grade, and agree to work in a mental health related profession focusing on early childhood through adolescence. House Bill 726 would help retain existing mental health professionals by establishing the Mental Health Workforce Retention Program. It would allow mental health professionals, specifically those working in the psychology, counseling, social work, and human services fields focusing on adolescents for at least seven years, to participate in a lottery in which winners receive a $5,000 bonus.