Cuts threat to mental health

A council is being urged to look again at where it is to cut funding amid fears some of the most vulnerable will lose out.

The charity Derbyshire Voice has a team of mental health service user representatives that attend over 250 meetings every year on behalf of patients who are not in a position to express their views about the services they receive.

They have been working in partnership with the NHS and both Derby City and Derbyshire County Council to improve mental health services for over ten years.

But Derby City has to make cuts and is proposing to stop the £16,500 of funding it currently provides in a move that could affect service users across the county including the High Peak.

The representative for the High Peak, who did not wish to be named, has attended numerous meetings on the charity’s behalf.

He fears the move will leave people with Asperger Syndrome and mental health issues without a voice.

“I understand that cuts have to be made, but why do theymost vulnerable people have to suffer?” he asked,

A statement from the charity said: “Our funding is £16,500 – a very small amount in comparison to the £30 million the (City) council are spending on the renovation of their Council House building.

“This cut will have a detrimental affect on mental health patients’ ability to be trained and supported to influence their services. A once quiet “hard to reach” group will be silenced once again.”

lThe charity is asking for people to sign a petition at; contact their MP; or complete a consultation document at before January 2, to get the council to look again at the proposals.