Campaigners call for report into impact of mental health cuts

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 May 2018

Service users and management of 1in4 People which is facing council cuts.

Service users and management of 1in4 People which is facing council cuts.

Archant

A mental health campaign group has called for a full impact report into the effect mental health service cuts could have on users.

Clarity, which supports and campaigns for mental health service users in North Somerset, believes axing funding for ‘critical’ support will only put more pressure on healthcare services and means people ‘could well die’.

Funding from North Somerset Council and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for 1in4 People, which has a Weston base in Oxford Street, will end on June 29.

The likely closure of the charity follows the fate of similar organisation Second Step, while cuts have also been made to Voluntary Action North Somerset.

Clarity believes taking away these ‘safety net’ support services will lead to more vulnerable people reaching a crisis point.

A spokesman said: “We at Clarity – North Somerset Independent Mental Health Network are very concerned about the decision by North Somerset Council and BNSSG CCG to withdraw their funding from such projects.

“Social care is critical to vulnerable people and acts as a safety net.

“Due to the very nature of mental ill health, we tend to have greater day-to-day and ongoing support needs.

“Without this support it will inevitably lead to more vulnerable people going into crisis, putting greater pressure on already stretched GP, emergency and secondary mental health services, and ultimately, as needs remain unmet, people could well die.

“We call on the council and CCG to commission and publish a full impact report on the cuts, and hold honest and open conversations with service users and interested parties to develop and fund services which are innovative, inclusive, and support vulnerable people in leading healthy and independent lives.”

North Somerset Council says it is in the process of tendering for a new mental health advocacy contract which will come into force in July, while the CCG is considering the future delivery of mental health services.

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