Services provided by Glasgow Association for Mental Health are endangered following the announcement of an expected 40% cut in funding next year. The organisation, which provides services for some of Glasgow’s most vulnerable people, said that it may have to close in 2015 if the cut is imposed by Glasgow City Council’s Social Work Department.
GAMH provide a citywide service for people suffering, or recovering from, a range of debilitating mental health conditions including schizophrenia and depression.
They provide over 2000 hours of support every week in the northeast, northwest and south of Glasgow. Services include home support, day activities, support for carers and befriending. They also provide a housing support service, helping people to sustain their tenancies, or assisting people experiencing, or at risk of becoming homeless.
Speaking to the Evening Times Unison union officer, Deborah Dyer, said that service users will “go into meltdown” if the cuts by Glasgow City Council go ahead.
“People will end up in acute beds, in police cells; they will end up on the street.
“Just closing a charity down, which is effectively what they are doing, is irresponsible. The council is demanding they provide a city-wide service and are making cuts at 40%.”
Glasgow City Council insists that funding cuts are necessary given the Council’s predicted £29m spending gap for 2015/16, but insists that those supported by GAMH and known to Social Work Services, will receive support from Social Work. The majority of GAMH service users are not known to Social Work, however, referrals to GAMH are made by doctors, housing associations, addiction services and crisis teams.
Critics have pointed out that cutting GAMH funding could well be a false economy as statutory services will inevitably come under increasing pressure when vulnerable people without support undergo a crisis.
A petition opposing the proposed cuts has been launched.
A demonstration will be held in the city’s George Square on 12th November, ahead of the Council’s Health and Social Care Development Committee meeting in the City Chambers.
Source: Evening Times