CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Cumberland County is the latest county to ask for better mental health funding from the Commonwealth.

In 2012, funding for the commonwealth human services and mental health program was cut by 10% or roughly $84 million.

“We have since 2012 faced a considerable deficit,” said Cumberland County Commissioner Gary Eichelberger.

Mental health is a big focus in Cumberland County and something that’s only gotten worse with rapid growth and the effects of the pandemic.

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“The legislature has not provided adequate attention so it’s our goal to undertake collective action with our fellow counties,” Eichelberger said.

That action was passing a resolution calling on lawmakers and the governor to increase funding.

The county has seen an 85.7% increase in suicide deaths from 2019 to 2021. Lisa Schaefer with the county commissioners association of Pennsylvania says we’re going through a mental health crisis.

“We’ve seen it in our schools with our students. We’ve seen it in our health care systems. We know that we have many people who are out there and see rooms seeking help because they don’t know where else to go,” Schaefer said. “We’re seeing it show up in law enforcement, we’re seeing children our justice system.”

Governor Wolf’s budget proposal calls for a 36.6 million increase in county mental health base funds as well as an additional 40 million in one-time federal ARPA funds to support efforts to provide critical behavioral health services.

“What we need to make sure that we’re doing is investing in those local services in this and the supports the things like housing and things like that they can help to provide stability to families and to communities and to individuals that can help to improve their well being,” Schaefer said.

It’s now up to lawmakers and the governor to figure out to change what’s been flat-funded for a decade.

“Gov. Wolf believes that every Pennsylvanian deserves an opportunity to thrive. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has never been more important for Pennsylvania to invest in initiatives that provide support for vulnerable Pennsylvanians.

“We appreciate that the county shares the administration’s commitment to ensuring that individuals have these critical supports available to them,” said Elizabeth Rementer, press secretary for Gov. Tom Wolf.