Letters to the Editor

Support small businesses in Dec.

Since December 2020, American Workers Radio, local business owners and small business associations have been promoting December as National Small Business Month.

The response to December as National Small Business Month has been good, and our thanks to the individuals, small businesses and business associations for helping promote the importance of shopping at local businesses.

Americans celebrate several special holiday occasions during December, and everyone is asked to be an ambassador of the December National Small Business Month campaign and all efforts that benefit American workers.

Inflation has placed a lot of stress on America’s businesses and American workers. This is another reason why it is important for us to support American workers and the products they make and the services they provide to their customers. America needs all of us to be united for the well-being of the United States and our fellow Americans. 

To help promote the campaign there is a poster on the front page of AmericanWorkersRadio.com. The poster can be printed out and displayed by small businesses to let customers know they welcome your business and are supporters of National Small Business Month. Kindly spread this information to your family and friends. For more information visit AmericanWorkersRadio.com or NationalSmallBusinessMonth.com. You can email your comments and suggestions to Michael@AmericanWorkersRadio.com.

Michael Blichasz

American Workers Radio, 860 AM

Eagles soar for charity

It is always a pleasure to read articles about the real generosity of our sports teams. I especially enjoyed the report by Tom Rimback on a recent act of charity by our great football team (“Eagles hit runway for big brothers, big sisters,” Nov. 22).

According to Rimback’s report, the Eagles recently held a fashion show called “Fashion Touchdown,” at 2300 Arena in front of more than 700 guests. Eagles players actually walked down the runway as models! Other former Eagles also participated. They even honored an Eagles official, Domenico DiSandro, for his many contributions to the team.

They performed all this to raise more than $340,000 for Big Brothers, Big Sisters Independence, an organization that provides community-based mentoring to support the development of healthy youths by addressing their need for positive adult contact.

It is so important to remember that our professional sports teams do much more than play games. They make a real difference in our community. Well done! Fly, Eagles, fly! 

Gloria C. Endres 

Change is coming with Cherelle

Cherelle Parker becoming Philadelphia’s first female mayor is great news. Mayor-elect Parker brings a real vibe that Philadelphia will change for the better. From the newly formed website transition2023.org to the catchphrase on the website is positive, the Parker administration will help to make Philadelphia the safest, cleanest and greenest big American city, while increasing economic opportunity for all.

The gun violence has to stop completely. Starting in January 2024 Parker plus her administration team will put real strength and power into Philadelphia and stop the violence going on. Or at least decrease the number of gun violence. The Philadelphia Police Department has to up the security patrol all over the city so certain crimes and gun violence will not happen at all in Philadelphia.

Alim Howell

Loan forgiveness needed for mental health profession students

The care of our nation’s mental health is in crisis. The Department of Health and Human Services states that by 2025, “shortages are projected for: psychiatrists; clinical, counseling, and school psychologists; mental health and substance abuse social workers; school counselors; and marriage and family therapists,” and these shortages will be along the lines of over 10,000 in each career path. We are only a few years away from this projection and the current numbers are already very telling. In APA’s 2022 COVID-19 Practitioner Impact Survey, 60% of psychologists reported no openings for new patients and more than 40% were carrying waiting lists of 10 or more patients. A larger part of the increase in need was coming from the younger and of color populations.

Adding to this increase in diversity from the patient side, the provider side of care is also extremely lacking. The provider workforce continues to lack diversity, creating further access to care issues. The world of mental health is very sensitive, private and frightening unless surrounded by people you trust. Many people from racial or ethnic minorities have a hard time finding the right care, with one main reason as not being able to find a provider from one’s ethnic or racial background. And sadly, there is a reason for this lack of numbers and diversity in providers. Most of these roles require master’s, if not doctorate, levels of education. This means years of expensive education, most of which many cannot afford, especially those from the already underserved areas of our city and nation. Providers come out of school with a lot of debt and rarely jobs that financially can compensate for this investment. The incentives are all messed up and fewer people are willing to make the sacrifice to go into these fields. The numbers don’t lie.

There is no easy solution to this current problem, but there are things that can be done to help right in our own city. Currently, House Bill 725 is waiting for approval in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Sponsored by Joe Ciresi, this bill would establish the Mental Health Professional Student Loan Forgiveness Program. This bill would incentivize more individuals to go into mental health fields as the financial burden of many programs is a barrier. With more workers, the current client burden for practitioners would ease and more patients with increased quality of care would occur. In addition, there would be an equal playing field for people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to join the various fields, further meeting the demand of our city’s population. Pennsylvania would be on the forefront of such a positive move in the mental health world and could help bring national awareness for this cause.

In the world we live in today, mental health is such a crucial part to a flourishing society. I urge you to contact your local House representatives or Joe Ciresi himself at 717-783-4086, and show your support for such a worthy cause. Mental health will not improve on its own, we must all come together to create solutions.

Sophie Henderson

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Student

Penn Nursing