Mental Health Association has funding cut

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – Dennis Philbin, the board secretary of Mental Health Association of Lebanon County, worries what will happen to the 30 clients MHA serves.

The United Way of Lebanon County has cut funding to the agency.

“They were a major funding source,” Philbin said.

MHA has offered free support groups in Lebanon County for decades. Philbin said losing the funding means they’ll have to close their doors at the end of the year.

“It will be devastating for some people,” he said. “They will be losing in some cases their only link to mental health services.”

Kenny Montijo, CEO of the United Way of Lebanon County, defends its decision. He said volunteers evaluated MHA and the agency had its $50,000 in funding cut based on criteria such as finances and merit.

“Our commitment first and foremost is to the community of Lebanon County,” Montijo said. “We want to ensure the programs that are being offered in Lebanon County are producing results or are, in fact, helping people.”

Montijo said the goal was never to close MHA’s doors.

“We are working with community stakeholders and mental help providers to ensure those needing services will continue to be able to receive those services,” he said.

Philbin said MHA hasn’t considered fundraising, but he added it could be an option.

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