The announcement that 1in4 People will be closing at the end of June follows the recent closure of Second Step, and severe cuts made to VANS and other social care & inclusion projects, all of which have been made with little consultation or consideration for the needs of the groups they serve. We at Clarity – North Somerset Independent Mental Health Network (NSIMHN) are very concerned about the decision by North Somerset Council and BNSSG CCG to withdraw their funding from such projects.
In the newspaper article a spokesperson for the council stated that a new advocacy service is being commissioned, but the services which have been cut provided so much more than this. 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 other interested parties to develop and fund services that are innovative, inclusive, and support vulnerable people in leading healthy and independent lives.
From and on behalf of members of Clarity – NSIMHN