Users' 'heartbreak' at mental health charity cuts
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 April 2018
'People will die' if a mental health charity closes this summer, according to users of the service.
1in4 People, which has a branch in Clevedon, offers counselling, drop-in session and activities including creative writing and badminton for people with mental health issues.
However, earlier this month the Times revealed the charity will open for the final time on June 30 following funding cuts from both North Somerset Council and North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The council says other mental health services will be available after June 30 but 1in4 People users are worried about their future.
Scotty Dyer says the charity has helped him following issues with drink, drugs and mental health, and is ‘heartbroken’ that other people in need will not be able to access the same level of support.
He said: “It breaks my heart to know if this place does not exist any more people will die.”
“I came to Clevedon seven years ago.
“I had a mental breakdown in 2010.
“I tried to kill myself and was in a mental hospital for nine months.
“When I came to 1in4 People I was a broken man.
“This place has given me my identity back.”
Fellow service user Christina Lawley added: “It is terrible and it has had a knock-on effect on people here now.
“If 1in4 People was to close it would be devastating.
“It is just so important to have something in the community.”
North Somerset Council says it is still committed to helping people with mental health needs and is tendering for a new advocacy contract which will run from July.
A spokesman has previously said: “We have a statutory duty to provide an advocacy service to support people in North Somerset with their mental health.
“The tender process is not yet complete, however 1in4 People is aware its tender has not progressed to the latter stages of the process.
“We are working closely with North Somerset CCG to advise and support service users and other stakeholders during the period of change.”
Anyone concerned about their mental health can contact their GP or the council’s community mental health team on 01934 523700.