CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – A looming deficit of funding is concerning mental health officials in Cumberland and Perry Counties.

“Yeah, the deficit is actually much more concerned for next year, with the governor’s proposed budget of $20 million for the state,” said Annie Strite, Cumberland and Perry counties mental health director. She also said that number is maybe a third of what they really need.

“The decline has occurred in the last 13 years; we’ve continued to see that decline. And with Cumberland County’s population growing as quickly as it is, we can no longer meet the needs of this community. And we have a waitlist for virtually every service,” said Strite.

For example, Strite said in residential placement, a supervised home or apartment for people with serious mental illness, all 84 slots are filled, with 90 people on a waitlist.

“We also have another complication or another part that makes this equation difficult. And that is, the public health emergency is ending in May,” said Strite.

Get the latest Pennsylvania politics and election news with abc27 newsletters!

She says when that ends, all those heads will turn to county help.

“A portion of those individuals may be eligible for county-funded services because they won’t be eligible for Medicaid. So that will further impact the need for additional county-based dollars,” said Strite.

Strite said if that situation does happen, they do know they could not handle it. She says she hopes the Department of Human Services will take a second look at how they fund areas of fast-growing counties during their first allocation meeting, on April 11.

“That’s just a hope that would be my hope is that there would be enough concern expressed to our legislators that they would take a second look at it,” said Strite.

To view statistics and facts discussed during the town hall meeting, click here.