Mental health services funding backed

May 22, 2020 Cranberry Local News

Butler County pledged Thursday its support for an initiative seeking state funding for mental health services in Pennsylvania.

In a news release, the county said the initiative, led by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, seeks to increase state funding for various types of psychiatric services due to the “static” levels of those funds for mental health services in the past.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the release states, that need was present.

In the commonwealth, counties provide a number of health services including crisis services, case management, supportive housing programs and peer support, as well as “numerous” services for children.

While the levels of need and state mandates were higher than funding would support prior to the pandemic, Brandon Savochka, the county’s human services director, said the pandemic will exacerbate that.

“With the current base funding that is provided, it is going to be difficult to meet the needs of the community due to the projected amount of people that will need access to these services,” Savochka said. “This increase will allow the community-based providers to increase their overall capacity and help to ensure that much- needed services are not removed from our system due to the inability to fund these programs.”