News Date: Monday, August 1, 2022

Counties recently received confirmation that the county mental health base would not see an increase, despite the increase of $43 million to the overall line.
CCAP has now confirmed that the county mental health base will not receive an increase in FY 2022-2023, despite repeated calls for increased state funding to support the crumbling mental health system as a priority for 2022. While the mental health services line in the General Fund contains an overall increase of about $43 million over the FY 2021-2022 appropriation, this line is shared among several other mental health-related needs, including state-owned hospitals and administration, as well as the county mental health base.
This news marks the 11th straight year of basically level funding to counties for locally provided mental health services, despite repeated calls for an increase and growing state and national attention to the need to address mental health concerns. The lack of attention to these critical funding needs will also have innumerable costly trickle-down effects for other local partners.
While the FY 2022-2023 budget allocates $100 million in federal ARPA dollars to the School Safety Grant Program specifically to address mental health needs and another $100 million to address adult mental health through the creation of a Behavioral Health Commission for Adult Mental Health, these are one-time funds and likely to have limited impact since grantees cannot rely upon their existence past the current year. This means counties cannot position themselves or other grantees to hire staff, create or expand programs or use for any other ongoing expenses. Additional enabling legislation is also needed to allocate the adult mental health funds after the Commission makes its recommendations, creating uncertainty for counties as to whether they will receive any funding support and delaying the impact that can be made in addressing community mental health needs