HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ)– When Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro proposed his budget he wanted to make sure that there would be funding for mental health services.

On Tuesday, March 7, when Shapiro proposed his $44.4 billion budget he brought up funding for school and community-based mental health services.

“For too long, mental health has been an afterthought,” Shapiro said. “Our mental healthcare professionals know that our mental health is just as important as our physical health, but so many schools are unequipped to handle student mental health needs and our counties lack the resources to be there for when Pennsylvanians need the most. We need a comprehensive solution and this budget is a start.”

Over the next five years, $500 million will be invested for mental health services for students, Shapiro said.

Shapiro also mentioned that solving the staffing issues for call centers and restoring funding for county health programs would help to improve mental health services in PA.