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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 January 2011

Stop the mental health service cuts

The funding of Mental Health Action Group Sheffield (MHAGS) is in jeopardy. We get our core grant from Sheffield city council, which plans to reduce the service down to one day a week.

MHAGS aims to provide an alternative to hospital psychiatric wards for people suffering mental health problems, and also to give these vulnerable people somewhere to socialise. Our group is user-run by the members and through an elected committee.

We feel the grant cut is unacceptable as this would have a serious impact on our members' wellbeing, resulting in many returning to psychiatric wards costing tax payers more money.

Now new information states we will have to bid to obtain a contract for our core grant. This presents a major obstacle as we will be competing with national charitable organisations.

We provide a meeting place in comfortable surroundings and several activities for our members. These include computing, arts, craft, photography, exercise and other pastimes. Day trips are often arranged. We have a fully functional kitchen and provide meals on a daily basis. These are all possible through our fundraising efforts.

Before Nick Clegg became deputy leader of the Con-Dem government, he made a pledge at the University of Sheffield to support mental health across the country. This demonstrates another u-turn by Clegg.

We would welcome help with highlighting this before Sheffield council. It's now imperative that we demonstrate solidarity in all struggles in unions and the voluntary sector.

Stephanie Milnes, MHAGS chairperson, and Tim Jones, campaign coordinator

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In The Socialist 26 January 2011:


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Socialist Party review

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Comment

Three decades of 'reform' and 'flexibility'

Stop the mental health service cuts


 

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Related links:

Mental health:

triangleClosure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleUnions must fight workplace mental health crisis

triangleKids wait 18 months for mental healthcare

Health:

triangleDemonstration: NHS in crisis - fix it now!

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triangleNHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off 1bn

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Cuts:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Why Labour and Plaid councils must set no-cuts budgets

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Why we're lobbying the council for a no-cuts budget

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Sheffield:

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

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Grant:

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

Psychiatric:

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

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