Lack of mental health support in North Somerset

A lack of mental health expertise in North Somerset will result in people going into crisis Second Step warns.

Speaking on BBC Radio Bristol on Tuesday 22 May, Aileen Edwards, Second Step’s Chief Executive, explained recent local authority cuts will mean people will be left vulnerable.

Talking to Breakfast Show presenter Emma Britton, she said Second Step was disappointed to lose its contract to provide vital mental health support in the area.

“We are the mental health experts on the ground, but because of the cuts our contract ended. The new service in North Somerset is a generic housing support service. We are concerned people will not be able to get the mental health support they need and this will lead to more crisis situations,” she said.

“It’s important there’s a range of mental health support services from crises services through to prevention. There has to be a jigsaw of services so that people don’t fall through the net.”

She added: “We are talking to local partners and commissioners to ensure vital mental health expertise is not lost in North Somerset.”

Listeners also heard from former client Cliff who met Second Step when he was at rock bottom and he felt his life wasn’t worth living. After months of hard work with Second Step support workers, Cliff is now back on his feet, living independently and active in his community.

Second Step worked with more than 1500 people in North Somerset over the last 20 years offering short-term help of up to six months. In 2016 the North Somerset service was rated excellent in an independent inspection.

To hear the interview in full, listen here.

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