(WHTM) — The new Pennsylvania state budget includes millions of dollars in mental health funding. The money will be allocated by county leaders, who say this is a step in the right direction but it’s not nearly enough.

According to the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), not enough mental health services for people who need them have been the story for years, and they say this budget will not do much to change that narrative.

The need for mental health help is fast outpacing the services available.

“People are having to wait months to get in, or they might have to go to another town or another county,” CCAP Executive Director Lisa Schaefer said. “We see people in the emergency rooms when they don’t know where else to go for crisis services. We see people ending up in our criminal justice system when their mental health needs aren’t addressed.”

The state budget is trying to address the problem. It includes $20 million for county mental health services, but Schaefer said the mental health system statewide is likely underfunded by $1.2 billion.

“It’s barely going to help keep the system afloat where it is now, much less start to do the rebuilding that we really need to,” she said of the money.

That $20 million also will be spread across 67 counties.

“[It[ will result in literally almost no monies to be able to address a $1.5 million deficit,” Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick said.

Hartwick said that is the deficit his county is facing. Cumberland and Perry County Mental Health Services are $2.5 million short.

“If there [are] no additional resources, us, Cumberland and surrounding counties are going to be forced to make the difficult decision of who we cut,” Hartwick said.

The budget also includes another $100 million for school mental health — that is federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Schaefer said originally that was going to be $200 million, half going to schools, the other half to counties.

“[It] would have been a great investment, a great step forward to start rebuilding our mental health system,” she said.

Funding from the budget is a step forward, but Hartwick and Schaefer say they need more from state officials to help everyone in Pennsylvania.

“We just need to start putting our money into those needs so that we can truly start to support that,” she said.

“We’re right now putting our fingers in the dikes to try to stop any major catastrophe from happening,” Hartwick said. “We need to do better as a county, we need to do better as a state…than to have those options be again emergency rooms or jails.”

Hartwick said there is reason to hope. He said he is encouraged to see bipartisan support for addressing the mental health crisis in the state legislature. Now, he said there just needs to be action.