Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Haringey Cuts - Dev

The cuts and their impact on mental health services in Haringey.  

Since the current government being sworn in 2011, Haringey council has made massive cuts to the mental health services. Within the last two years much needed centres like the 684 (day centre), Alexandra Road Crisis Unit (a respite care centre) and other services have been axed. This could be due to the double-dip recession. 

Presumably, the Clarington Centre will be left to take on some members from those centres. This means the centre staff will have to take on and manage larger numbers of members. Saying this, the centre is turning into a wellbeing college and a café from a day centre, so things are changing anyway. Also, as it stands, some people may not be able to access some services because they don’t have ‘secondary support’ or have a personal budget.

When people say ‘Mental Health Problems’ they don’t mean that he or she is having a mood swing or being moody, but is unable to control their condition. This could be a terrifying ordeal and have side effects. One of the reasons why these services are needed is because people with this condition need regular support and a place to go where they can meet people with similar problems and a safe place where they are not judged as being mad or out of control. 

With the cuts to the services, it makes it more difficult to control or find places for them to go for support on a regular basis. As well as meaning ever-reducing support to people with mental health conditions. This could be due to ‘lack of service support’ and staff to handle these situations.  

Sometimes at the emergency drop-in centres where you come in desperately to get help, you are sent back with some stronger doses of medicine and assigned to a ‘home care support team’. Sometimes this does not work but makes it worse. Saying that, some medicines do work and help them feel calmer and may cause some relief for the person or help some of their symptoms.

According to Haringey council and central government, GPs will have more control over local services. To deal with mental health conditions you would need trained professionals, so I wonder: how would a GP who deals primarily with physical health deal with a non-physical condition?

The council has also suggested that other members be involved in their care. In other 

words you help yourself. This could work two ways 1. Other people with same difficulties help people with the same problems, i.e. peer support.  2. Charities might help. This might take some pressure of the under-staffed and resourced services. Charities, and any services like Mind, Canning Crescent, provide valuable support to people with mental health problems. 

I hope the existing services, including charities, are able to support all those who need them. 

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