Tuesday, 11 November 2014

‘Cuts cost lives’ says UNISON – campaigners lobby Glasgow City Council over savage cuts to mental health charity

Tue 11 Nov 2014

Staff, service users, community groups and members of the public will gather in George Square tomorrow (Wednesday 12 November) to lobby Glasgow City Council over its plans to cut a charity’s funding by 40%.

The scale of these savage cuts are likely to force Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH) – which receives nearly all of its funding from the council – to close, risking the lives of hundreds of vulnerable adults across the city.

Chrissy McKeag, a project worker at GAMH, said: 
“We provide essential support - emotional, social and practical - to those who experience mental health difficulties across Glasgow. 
The support we offer transforms people’s lives and helps to prevent them from developing problems that are likely to require costly help and support from statutory services such as health, housing and criminal justice. Savage cuts of this level will leave Glasgow’s most vulnerable with nowhere to turn and end up costing the city much more in the long run.”

One service user, Lorna Cosh, from Glasgow, said: 
“After suffering from a serious illness I was at a real low point in my life and I was contemplating suicide – I felt my life was over. 
I got referred to GAMH and they have brought me back to who I was. I am now on the right medication and I am stronger than before. I still need support but I am taking steps; baby ones at first but now big steps. I just feel more reconnected and I now have a purpose in life. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the help and support of GAMH.”

Deborah Dyer, regional organiser for UNISON Scotland, said: 
“This is yet another attack on the most vulnerable people of the city and it really is a matter of life and death for some of these people. The sad reality is cuts cost lives and the council will have blood on its hands if it goes ahead with these plans. Saving GAMH is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes economic sense as every pound spent with the charity saves the public purse £5.”

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