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MHAPA Home / Programs / External Advocates

External Advocates

External Advocates are independent advocates who provide assistance and support to individuals receiving services at state operated mental health and juvenile justice facilities.

External Advocates:

  • Help individuals and their families with questions, concerns, and complaints regarding hospital care and treatment.
  • Help resolve concerns and complaints.
  • Work with individuals and others, including local/regional mental health offices and county providers, to facilitate community living.
  • Refer individuals to an attorney or agency that provides legal advocacy.
  • Assist with questions about benefit programs and concerns regarding employment.
  • Provide technical assistance and education regarding rights to individuals, their families, and the hospital staff.
  • Ensure the fundamental rights of the individual receiving services in the state-operated facility.

If you have questions about the External Advocate Program, contact MHAPA by phone at 866-578-3659 or email

External Adult Advocates:

Clark Summit State Hospital (CSSH)
Josephine McGuire

Danville State Hospital (DSH)
Sharlene Gilman

Michael Nicholas

Norristown State Hospital (NSH)
Maura Webster

South Mountain Restoration Center (SMRC)
Jaimie Hickok

Torrance State Hospital (TSH)
Julia Valenti

Warren State Hospital (WSH)
Tina Groves

Wernersville State Hospital (WeSH)
Carrie Emerich

David Swartz

External Youth Advocates:

External Youth Advocates provide advocacy in the following state-operated facilities:

  • Youth Forestry Camps 3
  • Loysville Youth Development Center and Secure Treatment Center
  • North Central Secure Treatment Unit
  • North East Secure Treatment Unit
  • South Mountain Secure Treatment Unit

To connect with a youth advocate, contact Elaina Ingalls at

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