Support for mental health cut as cost of living crisis bites
Local mental health charity Mind in Croydon has announced that two of its essential support services for people living with complex, long-term mental health conditions are to close, after a decision by Croydon Council to cut funding.
The Employment Support Service, which has provided one-to-one support and guidance for people in the Borough for nearly 20 years, has had its funding completely withdrawn after a review of Adult Social Care contracts by the Council. The service will close on 12th September 2022. The specialist Welfare Benefits Advice and Casework Service has also been cut, though some limited services will continue until next March 2023. Trustees of the charity have stepped in to provide funding from the charity’s own funds to support people already using the service and who are waiting for dates for Welfare Benefits appeals to be heard.
Philippa Mariani, Chief Executive, said:
“We are very sad to no longer have the funding to support people looking for work, or to return to work, and with their welfare rights and benefits. Our services have supported many thousands of people over the years and enabled people to regain confidence, health and independence. This is a real blow especially as we were awarded the contract only last year, working with our partners Croydon Mencap to enhance the support that we could offer people with learning disabilities and autism. The Council has been very clear with us that this decision is regretful and does not reflect at all on the quality of the services we provide.”
“We have looked at alternative solutions to closure but without the Council funding, our services can’t be sustained. It’s great that our Board of Trustees has stepped in to ensure that we don’t leave people already getting support with complex welfare benefits tribunal cases in the lurch, but with the impact of Covid on our public fundraising over the last two years, this can be for a limited time only”, she continued.
Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central, commented “Our voluntary sector in Croydon is at the forefront of the fight against poverty and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. Mind in Croydon is a fantastic local charity doing great work to support people with mental health problems. It’s devasting to hear of these closures, especially at a time like this when cost of living increases are squeezing household budgets hard. These support services will be even more needed. Our advice and information services in the Borough are at risk of being overwhelmed with people needing help and support”.
People directly affected by the closures have already been contacted and are being supported to find other sources of help and advice. If you are looking for help with your mental health, please contact the Croydon Health and Wellbeing Space at the Whitgift Centre on: 020 3154 9539 or https://croydonhws.co.uk/the-space/
Posted on: 20th September 2022