Way No. 10: Mental Health Funding

Wolf Budget Begins to Restore Funding Cut from Mental Health Services

Republican budget maintains mental health funding cuts

Gov. Wolf’s 2015-16 budget would begin to restore – by $18.3 million -- the funding cut from community-based mental health services in 2012-13, with the remaining funding restored in equal installments over the next two state budgets.  

The Republican budget would not restore, for the third year in a row, any of the funding cut from community-based mental health services.

The impact of the 2012-13 budget cuts on mental health services varied by county. Just a few examples, from a survey by the Pennsylvania Association of County Administrators of Mental Health and Developmental Services, include:

  • In 2012, Allegheny County served 69 percent fewer outpatients and 65 percent fewer inpatients.
  • The primary mental health residential provider in Armstrong and Indiana counties had to close four full-care community residential rehabilitation homes – a loss of 17 beds.
  • In Bedford and Somerset counties 36 individuals lost pre-vocational workshop services and 12 individuals lost long-term structured residential services.
  • Bucks County eliminated an 18-bed supported-living program and a psychiatric rehabilitation program that served 65 individuals.
  • Cambria County made the difficult decision to no longer be a provider of outpatient mental health services, which impacted more than 2,000 individuals. The county had been the largest provider of such services.
  • Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties eliminated a family support program affecting 429 families, a student assistance program affecting 132 individuals and a housing coordinator position, resulting in significant delays for people awaiting housing.
  • Chester County eliminated individual advocacy for 218 mental health consumers and families.
  • Dauphin County closed a clubhouse serving 25 individuals.
  • Delaware County reduced homeless support services for 50-60 individuals with mental illness.
  • Schuylkill County eliminated six programs, lost five positions, laid off two staff and left two open positions unfilled.

“After four years of cuts and underfunding that have drastically curtailed community-based mental health services across the state, we want to move forward with a fiscally responsible budget that will help restore much needed services for thousands of people,” Sue Walther, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania, said.

For a comparison, by county, of proposed funding for mental health services under the Wolf and Republican budget proposals click here.

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