Health & social care, Local authority
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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

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  1. S Mullen

    Having previously worked for GAMH, I have to say that a big problem in how services are delivered is the absence of client progression. People using the service tend to be on the books forever. I think this problem is pretty widely known so that surely has some impact on founders’ decisions. My own feeling is that people could be better supported through employability programmes and this provision is already in place.

  2. Chrissy McKeag

    Having worked at GAMH for 11 years and consulted with colleagues who are twice that, I have no recollection of an S. Mullen having ever worked here. We have had a Transitional Employment Programme via our Scotia Clubhouse project for many years and our various Service Centres offer a range of opportunities which promote learning and development, including a recent opportunity with the Wise Group. Your comment is neither accurate or indeed helpful. Fortunately our staff and members disagree with S.Mullen’s particular viewpoint and turned out in their hundreds to support us at the City Chambers. S.Mullen is entitled to their opinion but I am personally relieved they no longer work at GAMH, if they ever did.

  3. lorna cosh

    I have been a member/service user with GAMH for about 4 years. Due to physical disabilities and mental health difficulties I could not leave my home on my own.
    I was referred to GAMH by my CPN, I didn’t know anything about the organisation but the more I got involved the more I learned and the more I achieved. GAMH has given me the tools to help regain my self-confidence. Most importantly I have re-connected with my own community and regularly communicate via social media. This was very important to me as I had withdrawn from everyone around me. 
    In response to your post S Mullen – GAMH DO NOT hold service users back – they support us to move on. Following on from various training opportunities I am about to embark on training with the Peer ability project {PEER COACHING} who work alongside GAMH to provide employability opportunities. I do not appreciate being referred to as a ‘client’ we prefer GAMH member – and I do not appreciate being stigmatised as dependent for accessing support for my mental health recovery.

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