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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