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Lebanon County mental-health agency to close at year’s end

With loss of United Way funds, Mental Health Association 'unable to sustain operations'

The Mental Health Association of Lebanon County will be closing its doors at the end of the year, a decision the organization made after the county’s United Way said it was pulling its funding.

The MHA will be “unable to sustain operations with the loss of United Way funding,” which amounted to $50,000 annually, or 50 percent of its income, according to a MHA statement.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our opportunity to serve the community, when there is such a need in our community for organizations that promote mental wellness and provide support service for individuals in mental-health recovery,” Russ Albert, president of the MHA board of directors, said in the statement.

“Some individuals we serve have communicated that our support groups have ‘kept them going,’” he said, adding that the MHA is working to transition those they serve to other mental-health support services before the end of the year.

The United Way of Lebanon County said this week that, due to “several years of concerns and deficiencies” regarding the MHA’s financial and other operations, it has decided to permanently suspend the MHA funding.

It came after several years of concerns about the Lebanon County MHA’s organization, financial stability and its ability to effectively deliver services, a United Way statement said.

The MHA statement added that while it “admits to being challenged by its limited size and resources, the MHA maintains that it was a stable, 60-plus-year-old agency with a growing board of directors and expanding services.”

Board president Albert added in the statement that “though we disagree wholeheartedly with the United Way’s conclusions and decisions about our funding and our community impact, we don’t wish to rebut or revisit them publicly. We value the contribution that United Way makes to the community as a whole, and we prefer to remain positive for the good of the community.

“The MHA would like to thank the many generous and dedicated supporters, both individual and corporate, who made a real difference in the lives of individuals and families by the giving of their time, money, and other resources in the interest of the mental well-being of the Lebanon County community.”

David O'Connor
Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at [email protected].

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