In FY 2012/13, the county based .mental health dollars were cut by a monumental 10%. Since then, there has been no increase in county mental health funding and providers are again paying the price. Providers report hundreds and thousands of dollars in losses for services that are county funded, and services will surely have to be downsized or even closed as mental health issues and awareness are on the rise.
It is imperative that providers reach out and connect with your county commissioners to make them understand the impact on their constituents, their community, and their state. There is no magic message other than the one of your experience and that of the people using your services. It is crucial for you all to get your voices heard, in every Pennsylvania county.
RCPA and other stakeholders are working to have county funds restored in the upcoming fiscal year. Governor Wolf and his key Administration staff are at this moment working on his proposed budget. But we need help pushing the message — that is where you come in. Please contact your county commissioners by mid-November — the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) meets November 23 to set CCAP legislative priorities — and ask them to make this restoration a CCAP priority. Your stories, and those of the people using your services, are what they must to hear to understand the urgency and impact if they are not restored. This is long overdue. Please contact Sarah Eyster with any questions.